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Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Harry Trott, Philippe Abdoulaye, Pat Romanski, Brian Daleiden

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TV Content Drives Multiplatform Viewing, Says New Research from Vubiquity

National Study Shows Popularity of TV Shows and Desire to Download Current Content Among High-Value Subscribers

SHERMAN OAKS, Calif., March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Television shows are the most watched type of video, and are a top content choice on alternate screens, according to research released by Vubiquity.  In addition, a majority of video service subscribers found the ability to download current TV content to a tablet appealing.  A national sample of 1,600 consumers who use or own a smartphone or tablet participated in the online survey, fielded in Q4 2013.  Respondents ranged in age from 13 to 64, with demographics roughly mirroring the US population in age and gender.

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While the research found generational differences in what devices people watched video on most, when it came to content type, TV shows were popular across age groups, with some generational differences.  When asked what they watched most often on tablets and computers, the youngest viewers (13-17 years old) ranked consumer-uploaded content first, and TV shows second. Viewers 18-34 watched TV shows most frequently. One-hour dramas were the most-watched genre. 

The television set is still the most popular device for accessing video, with 83 percent of respondents watching it at least weekly and 47 percent watching daily, but other devices are becoming increasingly popular, especially among those under 35. While younger viewers still use the television set as their primary viewing platform, the study found that three-quarters of under-35s are also using a computer for video viewing at least weekly; 64 percent of 13-17 year olds watch video on a smartphone at least weekly, 37 percent, daily.

The survey was commissioned by Vubiquity and conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates.  An Executive Summary of the research that provides additional data is available for download from the Vubiquity website:

"We are truly in a new Golden Age of television, where the quality of programming and accessibility to content continue to converge," said Amy Kan, vice president, Marketing & Communications at Vubiquity.  "Today's consumer has more content available to them than ever before, driven by new monetization opportunities for content providers.  In turn, the bigger consumers of video will continue to pay for increased access to content – more content on more devices."

Providing the ability to download subscriber content offers a big opportunity to Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs).  Fifty eight percent of respondents found downloading to a tablet appealing and 63 percent of those would be willing to pay $1 to $5 to either stream or download content.  These "downloaders" are watching more content across all platforms when compared to the total sample and are currently paying for a variety of streaming services as well as premium channels. For those who indicated a concern with downloading, device storage and battery life emerged as barriers to entry, but technology advancements are largely addressing these concerns.

Subscriptions to over-the-top (OTT) services, such as Amazon Prime and Netflix, are growing, as an adjunct to, rather than replacement for, traditional Pay-TV services.  While 67 percent of 18-34 year olds report subscribing to OTT services, 80 percent subscribe to a traditional set-top box service. Among 35-49 year olds, 55 percent subscribe to OTT services, while 87 percent have traditional Pay-TV subscriptions. 


Cord-cutting isn't happening on a large scale.  Rather, over-the-top services are additive, especially for the high-value MVPD customers who are also subscribing to premium channels.  These are also the high-value customers that are interested in downloading content to which they subscribe. 

Even with the proliferation of new devices and new services, the television platform still dominates and TV content is most popular. This trend does not discount the power of new platforms -- they are popular and growing, with the youngest viewers at the head, rather than the tail of the trend. These younger viewers are equally comfortable with a variety of devices and move seamlessly from one to the other, accessing video content from a variety of devices – including the TV screen.

With advances in cloud storage and broad availability of new devices with higher-resolution screens and longer battery life becoming the norm, we expect the appeal of downloading content to portable devices to increase.  We also expect viewing of TV content to increase overall as people access video from multiple devices.  As a result, ARPU and usage trends are making Pay-TV subscribers higher-value than ever before, presenting exciting new opportunities for MVPDs.

About Vubiquity

Vubiquity is the largest global provider of multiplatform video services and solutions, working closely with both content owners and service providers to meet consumers' evolving demands for anytime, anywhere access to content. Through our experience, expertise, cross-industry relationships and technology platforms, we help our customers more quickly and efficiently monetize opportunity in the areas transactional, subscription and electronic sell-through on demand, linear content delivery, TV Everywhere, advanced advertising, and data services. For more information, please visit and follow @Vubiquity on Twitter.

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