Accenture: The TV love affair may be coming to an end

27 April 2015

The global ‘love affair’ with the TV might be coming to an end, with viewership on TV worldwide declining, research by Accenture shows. The biggest decline is seen in TV shows and movies, with especially the younger generations are using the TV less and less. With more and more being watched online, irritations, such as bad Internet service and advertisements, are growing. According to the consulting firm, future leaders in the media and entertainment will be the ones that centre their decision-making on the consumer.

Professional services firm Accenture recently researched the global appetite of consumers for TV and released the results in its ‘Digital Video and the Connected Consumer’ report. For the research, the firm surveyed 24,000 consumers in 24 countries*, ranging in age from 14 to 55 and over.

The research shows that finds that anytime/anywhere video consumption has become mainstream, with more and more consumers choosing alternative devices, such as laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones, over the traditional TV to view video content. As a result, viewership for TV shows and movies on the TV has seen a decline of 13% worldwide, while 10% less people are using the TV to watch sports and 3% less to watch video clips.

Preferred device

When comparing each group, the consulting firm sees double-digit declines in watching TV shows and movies on the TV for nearly all age brackets, with the biggest decline seen among 14- to 17- year-olds (33%). Interesting to see is that the decline gets smaller, the older the consumers are, with a decline of 14% for 18-to 34- years-olds, 11% for 35- to 54-year-olds and ‘only’ 6% for 55 and older.

”We are seeing a definitive pendulum shift away from traditional TV viewing,” explains Gavin Mann, Global Broadcast Industry Lead at Accenture. “TV shows and movies are now a viewing staple on mobile devices of all shapes and sizes, thanks to improved streaming and longer battery life.”

Watching TV shows and movies on the TV

Accenture’s research found that 87% of consumers are multi-tasking, using more a second screen to complement the TV, for instance to find information on TV shows, going on social media to interact on what they are watching on the TV, or to shop online. The majority (57%) of consumers that multi-task use a smartphone, with the younger generation in favour of this option. 50% uses a computer or laptop device, an option that is most used by the older generations. A tablet, which is used by a quarter (25%) of multi-taskers, is the least favourite option of the three.

Consumers multi-tasking


With consumers watching more and online, the research showing that 89% of consumers watches long form videos on connected devices, the quality of online services is increasingly a concern. Main complaints, in addition to poor Internet service (named by 51%), are advertisements (42%), buffering time (33%) and loss of sound or distortions during play (32%).

Complaints when watching long-form video content over the internet

To be relieved from these irritations, consumers surveyed indicate their willingness to pay for online video service if this would mean greater content variety, less advertising, and better video quality. According to Mann, this is something media and entertainment brands and broadcasters need to capitalise on. “Understanding consumers and ensuring decision-making is centred on consumer insights will be increasingly key to success […] The future leaders in media and entertainment will be those who listen to the audience and can tailor their content and services to this new reality.”

* The countries surveyed are: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, UK, and the US.


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