Consumers are spending less time watching broadcast TV, more time online

The Ericsson ConsumerLab has released the results of a new study that finds that people are spending slightly less time watching scheduled broadcast TV, and are spending more time watching streamed television online.

The study, called “TV & Video Consumer Trend Report 2011,” shows that more than 44 percent of the respondents reported watching Internet-based on-demand TV more than once per week, while about 80 percent watch broadcast TV more than once per week.

Data was collected in the United States, the UK, Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and South Korea. In all, 22 qualitative and 13,000 quantitative interviews were conducted representing almost 400 million consumers.

“On-demand viewing is increasingly popular, while broadcast viewing has remained as the most common way for people to watch TV,” said Anders Erlandsson, senior advisor at Ericsson ConsumerLab. “People want both broadcast and on-demand viewing to be available. TV and video have not been negatively affected by the Internet in the same way that print has; we just watch TV in many more ways than we did before.”

The study also shows that social media usage has clearly impacted the way viewers watch TV. More than 40 percent of the respondents reported using social media on various devices such as smart phones and tablets while viewing television programming.

“Our in-depth interviews — especially those in the U.S., which is a frontrunner in TV/video consumer trends — show how social media usage is impacting viewing,” Erlandsson said. “The majority of families combined TV viewing with the use of Twitter, Facebook, texting, voice calls and forum discussions about what they watched.

“This is particularly the case when watching reality shows and sports. This communication adds another dimension to the TV experience, as consumers found an annoying reality show funnier when they were able to comment on social media about ‘terrible’ singers, ‘ugly’ clothing or when your favorite team scores a goal.”

The survey also shows how many hours per week average people are spending watching TV and how many of the total viewing audience is watching on-demand content. People in Germany spend no less than 25 hours per week watching TV and video, but only 28 percent of this content is on-demand. In Spain, as much as 44 percent of all TV viewing is on-demand.