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TV viewing survey shows rise of tablets, decline of pay TV, and boost for ‘cord cheaters’

TV viewing survey shows rise of tablets, decline of pay TV, and boost for ‘cord cheaters’

TV viewing habits are changing in the age of anywhere, anytime media. A survey from Tivo’s Digitalsmiths division shows the rise of tablet viewing, a decline in pay TV, and a boost in “cord cheaters,” or viewers who avoid cable subscription fees by using third-party Internet services.

The results show that traditional cable and satellite TV providers face significant competition from Internet-enabled digital entertainment companies that provide alternatives to hefty monthly subscription fees. About 61.1 percent of consumers are categorized as “cord cheaters,” or people who use alternatives to traditional pay-TV services. Of those who do not use pay TV, 19.3 percent cut cable in the last 12 months, and 45.1 percent use an antenna to access basic TV channels.

Some 55.1 percent also use an over-the-top (OTT) subscription service, such as Netflix or Hulu. Another 35.3 percent use a pay-per-rental service such as Redbox kiosks.

Stats on why people are cutting cable and satellite subscriptions -- or adding them.

Above: Stats on why people are cutting cable and satellite subscriptions — or adding them.

Image Credit: Digitalsmiths

Digitalsmiths, a Tivo division that provides discovery and analytics for top U.S. pay-TV providers, created the report based on a survey from 3,150 viewers. The data is part of Digitalsmiths’ Q3 2015 Video Trends report released today.

Some 25.8 percent of viewers watch one to two hours a week of video on iPads or other tablets, compared to 19.2 percent a year ago and 19.8 percent two years ago. About 24.4 percent said they watch movies on iPads or other tablets. 16.5 percent watch TV reruns, 13.9 percent watch TV or movie previews, 12.5 percent watch sports clips, and 9.3 percent watch live TV shows.


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The report says that 21.6 percent of viewers, or the largest single segment, watch TV about two to three hours a day. Another 20.5 percent watch 1 to 2 hours, 18.1 percent watch 3-4 hours, 10.6 percent watch 4 to 5 hours, and 12.9 percent watch more than five hours. Only 7.3 percent watch less than one hour a day, and 9 percent don’t watch on a regular basis.

In the third quarter of 2015, 17.8 percent of people said they increased or added cable/satellite service, while 18.4 percent said they decreased it. A year earlier, 19.1 percent said they increased services, while 16.1 percent said they decreased it. The vast majority had no change.

Of the services cut, 46.6 percent said they reduced their level of cable/satellite service, 42 percent cut premium channels, and 16.4 percent cut premium sports packages. Of services added, 35.3 percent added premium channels, 31 percent added Internet service, and 24.6 percent added DVR service.

As for connected devices, 38 percent of people said they have a computer or laptop connected to Wi-Fi and 13.9 percent have a Wi-Fi smart TV, 11 percent have a Wi-Fi Blu-ray player, 8.6 percent have an Apple TV, and 7.8 percent have a Google Chromecast device.

A strong 76.7 percent are interested in à la carte pay-TV services where they can select and pay for only the channels they want to watch. On average, respondents said they would pay $40.50 a month for an à la carte package that consisted of 17 or 18 channels.

Lastly, millennials make more use of search functionality (52.6 percent) compared to baby boomers (37.2 percent). some 34.5 percent of millennials use recommendations, while only 13.3 percent of baby boomers do.

People are watching movies more often on tablets.

Above: People are watching movies more often on tablets.

Image Credit: Digitalsmiths

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