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TV and Video Have Come Out of the Box, Accenture Survey Finds

Consumers in the U.S. and U.K. are changing the way they view TV and video content by increasingly taking control of how, when, and where they view it, according to a new survey released today by Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

About half (49 percent) of consumers surveyed in Accenture’s Pulse of Media Consumer Survey are viewing over-the-top (OTT) video through a broadband connection on their TVs (50 percent in the U.S. and 48 percent in the U.K.) in addition to the content they traditionally watch via cable or satellite.

Consumers are also viewing content on mobile devices, creating video playlists, posting videos on social media, and learning about new TV programs and video offerings through social networks, according to the survey.

“We are seeing a seismic shift in consumer viewing habits,” said Robin Murdoch, a managing director in Accenture’s Media & Entertainment industry group. “The connected consumer is now comfortable viewing TV shows and video on a variety of screens, as well as sharing opinions of that content via social channels or recommendation engines.”

Not surprisingly, the survey found younger viewers are leading the way in using these new technologies to view video content.

In the U.S., 82 percent of consumers between the ages of 18 and 24 watch some OTT video, with 60 percent watching at least a quarter of their video over-the-top (compared to 32 percent of U.S. consumers overall). In the U.K., 75 percent of consumers in that age group watch some OTT, with 54 percent watching at least 25 percent (compared with 28 percent of overall consumers) in this manner.

Younger consumers are also more likely to discover new content through social networks as opposed to learning about it through commercials or programming guides. The survey showed that 35 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are interested in social newsfeeds of videos that friends have watched compared with 11 percent of consumers age 45 and older.

Today, 49 percent of consumers across the board subscribe to a range of video delivery services, indicating OTT video consumption has grown at an astonishing rate since last measured by Accenture in March 2011 at 8 percent. We are now seeing subscription and access levels similar to satellite among the online group surveyed. In the U.S., 27 percent of those surveyed subscribe to OTT services, such as Netflix Instant Streaming, compared with 28 percent to satellite. In the U.K., 26 percent of those surveyed subscribe to or access OTT services like Netflix, LoveFilm, or BBC’s iPlayer on TV services, or Sky Go / Now TV from Sky, compared with 30 percent to satellite.

Sixteen percent of U.S. consumers (9 percent in the U.K.) subscribe to gaming console-based video delivery services, and 4 percent (3 percent in the U.K.) subscribe to set-top subscription services such as Apple TV, Boxee or Google TV.

Consumers are also diversifying their viewing habits. Television remains the primary device for watching full-length shows, and PCs and laptops are the dominant device for short video clips. However, consumers are also using mobile devices such as smartphones to:

  • watch short videos and clips (24 percent);
  • watch user-generated content (15 percent);
  • watch live content (6 percent); and,
  • watch full-length movies and TV (4 percent of respondents).

Many consumers share videos on social networks, the survey shows. Based on a weighted average, respondents who use social media had, on average, over 3 friends who posted videos at least once per day (3.6 in the U.S. and 2.8 in the U.K.). Thirty-eight percent of respondents had posted, or re-posted, video online via social media. Most often this involved consumers sharing videos posted by friends (51 percent overall), reinforcing the viral nature of video-sharing online. A smaller but significant proportion (25 percent), sought out videos to post on social media based on content they had seen on TV.

The survey also probed consumers’ willingness to pay for content and found that more than one-third (36 percent) would be willing to pay to see a favorite show continue. Of that group, 18 percent indicated they would pay $25/£10 or more, and half (50 percent) would pay $1-$4/£1-£4. Younger consumers were more willing to contribute to the cause with nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of 18-24 year-olds in the U.S. and more than half (54 percent) of the respondents in the U.K.

“The new media landscape has enabled curating, consuming, and commenting on TV and video content to become a simple, seamless experience,” said Murdoch. “With youth leading the movement, we anticipate that these trends will intensify in the coming years.”

If you would like to contribute to the discussion, please join us online at www.accenture.com/pulsofmedia or on Twitter at #pulseofmedia.


In September 2012, Accenture conducted an online omnibus survey with 2,010 consumers over the age of 18 – 1,003 in the U.S. and 1,007 in the U.K. The sample was representative of the population weighted by age, gender, geographic region, race and education.

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with 257,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$27.9 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

This document makes descriptive reference to trademarks that may be owned by others. The use of such trademarks herein is not an assertion of ownership of such trademarks by Accenture and is not intended to represent or imply the existence of an association between Accenture and the lawful owners of such trademarks.

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