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The New View: Are European Broadcasters Ready for the Digital Audiences of Tomorrow?

The New View: Are European Broadcasters Ready for the Digital Audiences of Tomorrow?

The way audiences watch television and consume video content is changing. Brightcove recently commissioned a study by research firm Vanson Bourne to provide a cross-section of what viewing habits look like today.

The firm surveyed 4,000 viewers across Europe about their current video consumption habits, preferences, and tolerance for advertising.

Here’s a quick snapshot of what the survey revealed:

Rise in On-The-Go and Multi-Screen Viewing. While three-quarters (75%) of viewers prefer PC or laptops, over a third are now using mobile (33%) and tablets (34%) to view video content, highlighting the continued need for high quality cross-platform services. Another four in ten (41%) European viewers use more than one screen when watching video content.

Perpetual Viewing. Whether online or over-the-air, video is ubiquitous - and it’s being consumed 24/7. On average, the evening period is still peak time with over half (55%) of all viewing taking place then. However, daytime (24%), overnight (15%) and morning (6%) viewing are catching up.

Audiences More Open to Advertising (if the content is free). Since the beginning of television, viewers and broadcasters have had the tacit agreement - content in exchange for ads. Online video now follows that model. When asked for their opinion on the current state of advertising, 41% of respondents cited advertising as a ‘nuisance’, but many were realistic about the necessity of ads, with over four in ten saying they expect advertising if the content is free.

Finally, we analyzed the survey data and grouped the respondents into four categories or “tribes,” based on average viewing time, preferred devices and age group.  

Digital Natives are the youngest audience that watches the most video content of any of the tribes. Digital Natives are digitally savvy ‘binge watchers’ who think nothing of watching content on multiple devices (mobile 62%, and tablet 40%), sometimes at the same time.

Multi-Screen Junkies are the millennials, and the least loyal to traditional television programmes. As well as multi-screening on a regular basis, they are also open to the idea of paying for content, unlike some of the other tribes.

Telly Addicts are TV lovers, but a slightly older Gen X audience who watches a moderate seven hours of TV each week. They’re more receptive to advertising in the evening, when they’re watching their favourite by-appointment shows.

Devoted Spectators are the oldest, most loyal and most traditional audience segment. News and documentary programmes are their favourites, but they view the least TV of any of the tribes. Perhaps unexpectedly, they often multi-screen while watching TV.

Looking ahead

With new types of video services competing for viewers’ time, traditional players must respond to survive. There’s no doubt viewing habits have evolved, and will continue to change as new waves of innovation alter how consumers watch broadcast content.

Despite all these evolving patterns in viewers’ expectations and preferences for digital television, across the board audiences are looking for relevant, varied and high- quality content that entertains or informs them. As broadcasters plan for their future, extra care should be taken to marry rich content with optimal delivery, discoverability, and relevant advertising in relation to both the content and viewer.

To get a copy of the full research report, “The New View,” click here or visit us at our stand at IBC, Hall 4, Stand B60.


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