Convenience and Accessibility: Why the Sofa is the Most Important TV Device

Watching TV should be as easy as sitting down on the sofa. When consumers want to watch TV, they want to be handed content, not have to go chasing after it.

Convenience and accessibility are the bywords that are going to help providers overcome recent cord cutting scares. Current connected TV trends show that viewers want access to TV content, no matter what device they are using- 85% of US broadband users already watch TV on multiple devices. While out and about in the day, viewers want to be able to conveniently watch or record their favourite shows. Mobile TV is in the early adoption phase, but is already showing strong growth. Similarly, more and more people are starting to watch catch-up content on a variety of devices including tablets, laptops, and lately, their TV set.

A recent report by Kantar Media demonstrates the continuing importance of the traditional TV screen; viewers are happy sitting on their sofa and seem to prefer to watch content on the full size TV. According to the report, Virgin Media viewers, who have a full on demand service via their TV, are more likely to have watched on demand through TV (63%) than online (22%) in the last four weeks. The gap is much smaller in Sky homes, where there is not yet a full on demand service via TV (42% via TV, 27% online). In Freeview-only homes, where no TV on demand is available via a TV set, the study shows a greater proportion of people watching TV online on demand (34%) than in any other type of household.

Despite doomsday predictions, clearly, traditional-looking TV boxes are not about to disappear. Viewers enjoy television on their TV screens- even if they are now accessing content in new ways (OTT, IPTV, on-demand, etc.). The set-top box offers high quality, HD viewing from a comfortable vantage-point. On the other hand, the back-end, behind-the-scenes elements of TV are changing rapidly. By allowing access to features like on-demand content, providers can draw viewers quickly back to the TV screen. Watching TV is all convenience- on several levels. First of all, content must be accessible on any device, with a consistent experience. Secondly, convenience here means comfortable, high quality viewing, anytime on-demand, on the sofa.

Andrey
np@aventurescapital.com

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