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Channel Surfing No. 1 in Finding TV Programming

5 Mar, 2014 By: Doug McPherson

ARLINGTON, Va. – It turns out that opposable thumbs, and their ability to channel surf, still help TV viewers discover new shows more than any other TV marketing platform.

New research from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) in a study called “Video Content Discovery and Purchasing Trends" says surfing yields a 50-percent preference number among consumers. Next in line are on-screen program guides and TV promos/commercials (both at 47 percent). Word-of-mouth (34 percent) and network websites (27 percent).

Top devices for watching streaming or downloaded video content: Laptops (52 percent), desktop PCs (44 percent) and HDTVs (40 percent) are the most commonly used devices for watching streamed or downloaded video content. A third of consumers view video content on smartphones (32 percent) and tablets (31 percent).

Slightly more than half of consumers – 53 percent – say they skip TV commercials. Almost 80 percent of online U.S. adults obtain video content from traditional television programming – cable, satellite or fiber-to-the-home. Next are: DVD/Blu-ray discs, 66 percent; free video streaming services, 47 percent; and paid video streaming services, 37 percent.

Results on discovering movie content are similar to TV shows: TV channel surfing (44 percent), on-screen programming guides (44 percent), trailers at movie theaters (39 percent), TV commercials (39 percent) and word of mouth (37 percent).

The report’s findings are based on national sample via an Internet study of 1,001 U.S. adults.

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