Deloittes annual Digital Democracy Survey was released and with it came the usual predictions of what it means for the future but there were some surprises
Well, it turns out that everything weve been assuming about the ascendency of streaming video and binge-watching television shows is right on the money. More people are willing to watch multiple episodes and shut themselves in their houses and order Chipotle from Seamless than ever before, with 70% of viewers admitting to binge-watching.
This statistic was revealed in the 10th annual Digital Democracy Survey by the media gurus at consultancy firm Deloitte, who looked at how and where people are watching television. (Not where as in which room, but where as in which device.) Their findings pointed out a lot of things we could ascertain through common sense, but the speed at which people are flocking away from linear television toward an all-on-demand-all-the-time model is faster than anyone could have guessed. Here are their top five findings.
The age of the binge is upon us
Thanks to Netflix everyone is bingeing. As stated, 70% of people have binged television in the past year and 31% of people binge-watch on a weekly basis. The top reason respondents gave is because they like to watch what they want when they want and without commercials. The average number of episodes per sitting is five. Although some streaming services such as Hulu and NBCs new comedy streaming service SeeSo are offering their original series week by week like linear television, viewers are still looking to get their TV fix all at once.
The streaming wars have only just begun
It might seem like everyone you know has a Netflix subscription, but a majority of Americans still dont pay for a streaming service. The gap is closing, however, with 46% of people subscribing to at least one service such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime (but that might just be for free two-day shipping on exotic soaps from Brazil). Whats surprising is how streaming dominates with younger viewers, which are the future of the medium. Those aged 26-32 have an average of three streaming subscriptions and 50% of 14-25 year-olds spend more time watching streaming services than linear television. This means streaming companies are going to start fighting for more viewers and that is mainly going to be done by creating original content and paying top dollar to acquire the shows that people crave the most. Things between Netflix and Hulu are going to put anything that happened between Coke and Pepsi to shame.
The show is the most important thing
While we know 53% of viewers binge-watch dramas, we dont know the specifics of what kinds of shows they are bingeing on. Is it all House of Cards and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which were conceived and presented to be downed in one massive gulp, or are they waiting for shows such as The Americans to survive a couple of seasons and catching up all at once? Are people waiting for the entire season of The Walking Dead to go by on AMC and then gobbling it all up on Netflix instead? Its unclear, but it seems people are seeking out series more than they have in the past. Conventionally mediocre shows could get by thanks to the network they were on or the time slot they were plopped into. That is no longer the case. With so many channels and so much available on demand, viewers seem to be seeking individual programs.
Cable TV isnt dying
We hear a lot about cord-cutters, but the multi-platform television culture that we are currently experiencing isnt going to quite kill everyones cable subscriptions just yet. As a matter of fact, when respondents were asked to name their favorite subscription services, 79% mentioned pay TV, which is up 21% from 2012. It seems like consumers have so many alternatives that creating an atmosphere where everything is must-see TV makes people happier to pay, in general. Either that or they all assumed pay TV meant HBO and they just really cant wait for the next season of Game of Thrones.
No one is watching TV on TV
One third of people and half of millennials watch their shows on something other than a television set, whether thats a mobile phone, a tablet or a laptop. When asked to rank the most essential piece of electronic equipment in their homes, TVs came in fourth behind mobile phones, laptops and desktops. These days it seems a screen is a screen is a screen. In fact, most people are watching more than one screen at a time. Ninety percent of people said when they watch TV they are multi-tasking usually checking email, toying with social media, playing video games or sending text messages. Spilling melted ice cream all over your blanket while you try to watch Scandal, tweet about it, and conquer another level of Candy Crush with a pint of mint chocolate chip in your lap all at the same time is not considered another task.