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People Watch More TV in More Places

NEW YORK: People are watching television more often, but they’re doing so in more places on more devices. In the absence of comprehensive measurement, the phenomenon contributes to the appearance of audience fragmentation. Accenture’s second annual Global Broadcast Consumer Survey indicated the consumption of broadcast TV content continues to grow as people acquire new time- and place-shifting viewing platforms.

Accenture conducted the survey of nearly 14,000 consumers across 13 countries in January and February to assess how people in different markets view and respond to broadcast content and how they are adapting to new content delivery methods and platforms.

The results indicate that television viewership has grown since last year. Forty percent of those surveyed watched six or more TV channels this year versus 35 percent in last year’s report. About 39 percent watched eight or more TV shows a week compared to 33 percent last year.

Migration to alternative TV displays grew, with 74 percent saying they watched content on a PC compared to 61 percent last year. Mobile viewing reached 45 percent, up from 32 percent last year.

Accenture said one of the survey’s “more striking discoveries” was the disparity in behaviors of consumers in less-developed markets versus those in more-developed markets. For example, respondents in Mexico, Brazil and Malaysia were nearly three times as likely as those in the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom to express interest in watching TV on mobile phones (from 65-71 percent versus 22-26 percent).

“The modes of consumption that provide an alternative to the traditional TV experience are becoming part of everyday life rather than the occasional novelty,” said David Wolf, a senior executive with Accenture’s Media & Entertainment practice. “Consequently, providers in this evolving market must drive the consumer experience by offering the right type of content via the right device for a particular market.”

The survey also found viewer loyalty--around 73 percent of those surveyed followed programs across various channels. Many continued using traditional means to find them, including channel surfing, word-of-mouth, TV listings and promos.

Accenture said it also found an increase in people’s willingness to pay for content, up to 49 percent from 37 percent last year. At the same time, 40 percent said they would prefer to watch ads in exchange for free content.

Among those willing to pay, subscription was more popular than pay-to-play models across all age groups, and younger people appeared more ready to do so than older folks. Across the board, people said they planned to spend less this year for most media, particularly physical media, with DVD’s most at risk.

Accenture’s Global Broadcast Consumer Survey can be found at -- Deborah D. McAdams