Digital Video Content Not a Replacement for TV Programming

According to a new Consumer Electronics Association study, 79 percent of online U.S. adults obtain the video content they watch from traditional TV providers, although a significant number of viewers are turning to other sources. Online video streaming is most common with consumers ages 18-34. However, traditional TV viewing remains consistent for most age groups, suggesting that online services are being used as a supplement rather than a replacement of traditional programming.

The CEA study — “Video Content Discovery and Purchasing Trends” — found that common sources of video content also include DVD/Blu-ray discs (66 percent), free video streaming services (47 percent) and paid video streaming services (37 percent).

“Access to faster Internet speeds and dramatic advances in mobile technology have changed the face of video content delivery and consumption,” said Kevin Tillmann, senior analyst for CEA. “However, digital content is not necessarily a substitute for traditional content sources, but instead an additional source from which U.S. consumers can quench their insatiable thirst for video content.”

Interestingly, the study found that 53 percent of viewers say they skip commercials, despite traditional programming remaining critical to the discovery of new movies and shows.

Viewers discover new movies most commonly via “channel surfing (44 percent), on-screen program guides (44 percent), previews at the movie theater (39 percent), commercials on TV (39 percent) and word of mouth (37 percent),” notes the CEA news release. To discover TV shows, consumers turn to “channel surfing (50 percent), on-screen program guides (47 percent), TV commercials (47 percent), word of mouth (34 percent) and network websites such as NBC or CBS (27 percent).”

“DVD/Blu-ray discs are often preferred over digital downloads because consumers indicate they like owning a physical product (52 percent) and the ability to watch using their DVD/Blu-ray player (50 percent),” notes the release. “However, over three-fourths (77 percent) of online consumers own at least some digital video content. The top reasons for choosing digital content include the ability to access it from anywhere (36 percent), ease of storage (35 percent), price (32 percent), instant access to content (32 percent) and the ability to watch on an Internet connected device (27 percent).”