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Over-the-Top Viewing Leading to Cable Cutting

29 May, 2013 By: Doug McPherson


SAN FRANCISCO – As online video viewers rise, cable TV subscribers drop. A new survey by AYTM Market Research found that while 60 percent of U.S. Internet users said they still had cable in May 2013, another 23 percent described themselves are former cable subscribers.

And adding insult to injury, AYTM also says more than half of cable TV viewers said they watched less than half of the channels available, and nearly two-thirds said they would prefer to choose individual channels rather than paying for a whole bundle.

Analysts say the number of consumers who watch cable and network TV as it airs is dropping fast, and consumption of over-the-top (OTT) content and on non-TV devices are rising regularly. In a March 2013 survey, Leichtman Research Group found that 27 percent of U.S. adults watched videos on non-TV devices every day, and more than half of respondents did so weekly.

The Leichtman study also revealed that in 2013, 44 percent of U.S. households had at least one TV set connected to the Internet, up from 38 percent in 2012. And as more TVs are connected digitally, OTT viewing is rising quickly. This year, one-third of U.S. adults surveyed reported watching OTT content daily (nearly double from 2011) and 59 percent said they did so weekly.

The two big players, YouTube and Netflix, are driving the movement to digital and OTT viewing, insiders say. AYTM says 29 percent watched YouTube videos at least daily in May, and more than half of respondents did so more than once a week. Netflix is growing, too. Leichtman says 22 percent of U.S. consumers streamed Netflix weekly – more than five times as many as in 2010.


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