The “TV” Experience: No Longer Just a Multichannel Game; Viewers Spend 10% of TV Time Streaming Content to the TV Set

April 2, 2014, New York, NY – According to the latest Horowitz Associates State of Cable & Digital Media study released to clients in March, TV content viewers say they spend two in ten (20%) viewing hours streaming content, compared to 13% in 2013. This change has been driven by an increase in streaming directly to the TV set—a trend that Horowitz hypothesizes will impact viewers’ relationships to TV providers and network brands.

Today, nearly two-thirds (62%) of TV content viewers either own a Smart TV or have the capability to stream content to their TV through another device.  One-third (31%) of study respondents say they spend at least some TV viewing time streaming broadband content to the TV set; those who do stream to the TV spend a full 30% of their viewing time doing so.

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Streaming to the TV is becoming the “new normal” for accessing broadband-delivered content.  In 2013, TV viewers reported spending 5% of their viewing time on the computer, 3% on a mobile device, and 5% streaming content to the TV. In 2014, computer and mobile device numbers stayed relatively flat, while the percent of time spent streaming content to the TV set doubled.

“The fragmentation of viewing in the age of digital media is not a new conversation.  But OTT boxes, gaming consoles, Blu-Ray players, and now, devices like Google Chromecast are taking the conversation to the next level,” asserts Adriana Waterston, Horowitz’ SVP, Marketing and Business Development.

“Companies like Google, Netflix, and HBO have focused their energies on delivering a seamless experience to the TV and consumers are responding. Before, the ‘lean-back’ TV experience almost always implied broadcast or cable viewing; today, it is becoming more commonplace for some other platform or provider to deliver that lean-back TV experience. We can no longer assume we know what people mean when they say they are ‘watching TV’.”

Now in its 21st year, State of Cable & Digital Media is an annual, syndicated survey published by Horowitz Associates, a leading market research provider for the media industry. The study tracks key trends in consumer behaviors towards and adoption of new television, broadband, and mobile technologies among TV content viewers.  National and Multicultural Editions are available.  Contact Adriana Waterston (adrianaw@horowitzassociates.com, 914-834-5999) for information.