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OTT increasingly supplementing pay TV viewing

Households subscribing to pay-TV services are increasingly using OTT options to supplement what they are already watching, according to a new report from research firm Centris Marketing Science. What’s becoming clear is that viewers are more in control of their viewing habits than ever before and as they grow more comfortable with these new IP-based platforms, content distributors have to target these devices if they want to reach audiences increasingly on the go. In addition, many are former cable, satellite and telco TV service subscribers that now use OTT platforms exclusively.

Although STBs in the home remain the most popular way through which most people watch TV, viewing on mobile devices (laptops, tablets and smartphones) is now quite common, Centris, based in Horsham, PA, said, and growing all the time. In fact, three out of four tablet and laptop owners and two out of three smartphone owners say they are now using their portable devices to watch video.

The results are found in the second quarter report of Centris’ “Evolution of Video Tracking Study,” which provides new insight into the video consumption habits of consumers. The study gathered information from over 24,000 respondents.

The study found that half of the households that subscribe to pay television and use OTT services have used OTT to at least supplement and in many cases replace traditional pay television viewing in the past 30 days. Thirty-seven percent did not use OTT to supplement pay television.

Seven percent have never subscribed to pay television, but have used OTT services for viewing in the past 30 days. Three percent are former pay TV subscribers who now use OTT services. A quarter of that group said they dropped pay television for OTT only.

Another 3 percent do not subscribe to pay television or use OTT services at all.

For viewing OTT video, most — 82 percent — use Internet-connected STBs like the Apple TV or Roku devices. More than 70 percent use tablets, desktop or laptop computers, while more than 60 percent use smartphones and game consoles.