On-demand video killed the TV star

New research from Accenture has revealed consumers are losing interest in watching TV shows on a TV, as laptops, desktop PCs and smartphones continue to rise in prominence.

Back when your correspondent was a baby faced youth, there was a constant battle with two brothers over dominance of the TV control. The competition would rage over the credentials of Nickelodeon versus Cartoon Network or the entertainment of rugby versus football, until mum would arrive for the evening soaps and the pecking order of the household was firmly re-established, as the three battle-weary rivals were thrown out of the living room for peace and quiet.

Siblings arguing over the TV used to be a pillar of British society, but alas no more. The percentage of those who prefer to view TV shows on TV sets dropped from 56% to 25% in the UK, though the same metric dropped to as low as 10% in India. How are young people today going to learn the art of debate if not through heated discussion of what to watch on TV? As we the only ones who think the generations of tomorrow will suffer?

“The dominance of the TV set as the undisputed go-to entertainment device is ending,” said Gavin Mann, Global MD for Accenture’s broadcast business. “While a great number of people still watch plenty of TV shows on TV sets, our research uncovers a rapid acceleration in their preference for viewing on other digital devices – especially laptops, desktops and smartphones.”

Overall, the number of people who prefer to watch TV shows on TV sets declined to 23% in 2017, down from 52%. 42% said a laptop or desktop, up from 32% in 2016, according to Accenture’s 2017 Digital Consumer Survey.

Although it is slightly doom and gloom for the traditional TV, the survey does also show some more encouraging statistics for the connected, data-driven economy. 44% think personalized advertising based on previous online searches is useful, while 40% want voice control on their devices to increase personalized interaction on their devices and 38% believe digital assistants in the smart home are offering a useful service.

There is still some work to do on these numbers, but it does indicate hyper-personalized entertainment services are starting to gain mainstream acceptance from the consumer. In a digital economy, which is driven more by the service business model than a product one, this is an encouraging sign for the telcos who are raring to capitalize on the mountains of customer data accumulated over recent years.

If the telcos hurry up they might be able to capitalize on some of these new revenues before the OTTs snap them all up.

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