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Consumer Expectations for Connected TV

by Kevin Nolan | 9月 03, 2010

Over the past six months, Strategy Analytics has conducted in depth interviews with 60 consumers across five countries who are watching over-the-top content on their television screens. This group - that we call "Connected Media Consumers" - access online content via a variety of methods: some own connected TVs, BluRay players or gaming consoles, while others have purchased digital media center PCs or media adapters. Despite this diversity, when it comes to their attitudes and motivations for consuming OTT content, we have found that these consumers are often surprisingly similar. Saving Money is Not the Main Motivation The rising number of "cable cutters" who have cancelled their pay TV subscription and consume only OTT media has received a lot press recently. However, our research has found that, while saving money is a factor for some of our Connected Media Consumers (especially in Spain or China), the vast majority are using OTT primarily as a way of increasing the variety of content available to them and providing the convenience and flexibility to consume their preferred content anytime, anywhere. For most, OTT supplements their broadcast viewing and our research has shown that the vast majority actually consume more content now than they did before adopting connected media, and that their number one method of consuming content is still broadcast. They mostly tell us that broadcast TV and OTT content serve different purposes and that both are valuable to them. When families come together to watch TV, they are most likely to be watching a program 'live' as it is broadcast. As such, for these consumers, watching broadcast TV is likely to be considered a social activity. By contrast, OTT content is more often associated with personal interests. For this reason, we have found when observing these consumers in their homes that attention levels for broadcast TV are generally lower than for OTT media. While broadcast TV is being 'watched', family life is occurring, whereas digital media is generally consumed at a time when the viewer can devote much more of their attention to the content. Legal Alternatives to P2P Sharing of Digital Media Needed Finding the content they are interested in is the biggest frustration for these consumers. Most are willing to pay to be able to find all of their favorite content in one place. They also want better options for discovering new content that may be of interest to them. While many have no qualms about accessing content illegally via file-sharing, there are also many - especially in markets like Germany - who do this only reluctantly because there are no legal alternatives that truly meet their needs. Our research suggests that if a solution was available that met their demand for access to international content in one place, there would be strong demand. Discovery of Content Based on Social Recommendation is Highly Desirable Since digital media is more likely to be consumed by an individual alone rather than with the rest of the household, and since attention is higher, consumers place a much greater emphasis on the relevance of the content to their tastes. This means that many of them choose to watch their preferred shows via digital media. It also means that they choose the digital content they watch more carefully and seek out information to help them decide whether it is worth watching a particular show or not. To identify content that will be most relevant to them, these consumers place great value on recommendations. We found that recommendations based on reviews or activity generated by friends is of the highest value, while recommendations automatically generated based upon the preferences of other users of a service are also valuable (e.g. “People who watched this also liked...”). Appropriate Controllers Required for Digital Media Access According to our interviews, one of the main limitations of connected media consumption is current controller technology. Text input - for content searching - is cumbersome using traditional TV remotes. Additionally, consumers want fewer and smaller controllers in their living rooms, while at the same time they are wary of universal remote controls because they are concerned that these will not replicate every function of all of their existing remotes. We believe that bundling more appropriate controllers for digital media consumption will be vital to driving adoption. Our research suggests that touchscreen and direct pointing technologies represent the most effective technologies to meet the interface needs of these consumers. For more information about Strategy Analytics’ in depth research with Connected Media Consumers, click here.

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