There’s little doubt that TV and digital video audiences are shifting their screen choices. But the impact of those shifts isn’t so clear.
Digital video, with its many viewing options—computer, smartphone, tablet, connected TV—is creating dramatic changes in the marketplace, but there has been so much hype around those changes that it’s hard to discern the realities of the evolving market, according to a new eMarketer report, “Shifting Video and TV Audiences: Tuning Out the Hype to Understand New Viewing Habits.”
An increasing number of viewers are taking advantage of TV Everywhere offerings, which allow for watching content on any screen. According to Adobe Digital Index, the share of US pay TV households that set up TV Everywhere accounts and authenticate grew from 16% in Q3 2013 to 21% in Q1 2014—a 31% jump over only six months.
But TV Everywhere use remains relatively light. In April 2014 polling by the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) and HUB Research, only 29% of US TV viewers said they were heavy (15%) or moderate (14%) users of TV Everywhere.
And for all its growth, TV Everywhere faces some challenges. For one, many viewers are not even aware of the services: 47% of respondents to CTAM and HUB said they had never heard of them. For another, TV Everywhere technology is still relatively new and glitch-prone: In a November 2013 survey from Viacom, 24% of internet users cited problems with long load times or buffering, and 23% had encountered crashing or freezing issues.
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