Unpacked: Percentage of TV Viewing Online vs. Offline

Unquestionably, behaviours are changing with regards to how we consume content once reserved for the TV. Every quarter we capture quite a lot of data around online and standard/linear TV viewing time and can see these behaviour changes play out before our eyes. Through a range of data points, including network data, consumer surveys, and app analytics, we triangulated the following model for the percent of total TV content viewing time done through streaming TV services. This is the individual TV watcher’s % of time watching streaming as  a total percent of all their TV watching time.

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To no one’s surprise, it is rising globally. As we dissect this by region the following highlights stick out:

  1. APAC (31%) and MENA (29%) are the two largest regions percentage wise consuming online TV
  2. 16-24 (37%) and 25-34 (31%) are the two largest age groups consuming online TV as a percentage of total TV watching time
  3. Globally, only 56% of respondents currently pay for a linear/offline TV service
  4. 73% of consumers who pay for linear/offline TV service also pay for a streaming service like Netflix or Amazon Prime
  5. In every region and every age group, less than 5% of consumers watch online TV ONLY
  6. The combination of people who pay for a linear/offline TV service and a streaming service is remarkably high. This suggests these are not only related but consumed in tandem. Perhaps highlighting the different content offering from both services as well as the flexibility both offer to consume content.

    Now, we know there are still many hooks for linear/offline TV services with sports and other live content being primary for these services. But seeing these two stats so closely tied together, from a consumption standpoint, is intriguing to analyze and see if there are interdependencies between the two.

    Here is a stat, that follows closely my behavioural debt theory, 64% of 55-65 year old demographic watch no offline/streaming TV. Meaning about 3 out of 4 in that demographic consume TV only in linear/offline fashion.

    Interestingly, a good portion of this online TV consumption happens on the big screen. 41% of respondents own either a smart TV or a streaming TV stick. When it came to devices not the large screen, the PC still remains the dominant device to consume online TV vs. smartphones and tablets.

    As I was doing consumer research for the conference I put on called Subscribe, I decided to ask iOS owners specifically the things they subscribe to from Apple and the things they intend to subscribe to over the next year. Answers included things like the Apple iPhone upgrade program, iCloud, Apple Care, etc. However, in the forward looking question around intent to subscribe, I snuck an answer in there which stated “Any TV service Apple may release.” 17% of iOS owners selected this answer. So, sight unseen, 17% of Apple customers will subscribe to whatever service they release without even knowing what it is. This signals a high level of trust to deliver quality and, with the streaming and behavioral shifts around the consumption of TV content, it seems like new ground is being laid and a fundamental shift in how we pay for our TV service is imminent.

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Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst and the head of primary research at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research and he is responsible for studying over 30 countries. Full Bio

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