Gaming consoles and over-the-top (OTT) devices, such as Apple TV and Roku, are helping online TV work its way into our living rooms to directly compete with traditional television. In fact, according to Adobe Digital Index's “Q2 Video Benchmark” report (PDF), online TV content viewed through these devices saw the biggest market share increase of all device types.
Up 194% year-over-year (YoY), gaming consoles and OTT devices now hold a 10% market share of online TV content viewed, all at the expense of PCs. Android apps placed second, with 28% YoY growth (20% market share), while browser use shrank by 41% YoY (from 33% to 19% market share). But iOS is still in the lead, with 51 percent of market share.
Online TV is a service offered by cable and satellite providers that allows their customers to access authenticated content on the go by logging in with their pay-TV credentials, at the office, or at home through a gaming console or OTT device.
Movies Make A Move
The monthly frequency of online TV content being viewed across different network channels is steadily increasing. In fact, movies have taken a starring role in online TV consumption, sidelining sports. Movie networks have seen the strongest frequency gain in online TV viewership, with a 125% YoY increase. Consumers went from watching two movies per month, on average, to watching 4.5 per month.
“It appears that consumers are broadening their appetite for online TV to beyond just sports,” said Joe Martin, an analyst at ADI. “2014 was the largest digitally available sports year ever. Consumers took the time to set up online TV accounts so they could get access to the major sporting events, and we are seeing it spill over into movie and episodic television content. As we see this shift in viewing behavior, marketers need be prepared with strategies that are in line with the changing content consumption habits.”
Additionally, ADI found that broadcast and cable networks lead the way with frequency of viewing, increasing from 3.1 pieces of episodic content per month to 5.6 shows, an 81% YoY increase. Meanwhile sports networks saw a more modest increase of 31% YoY. Viewers watched 3.2 sporting events on average per month a year ago, and are now watching 4.2 events on average via online TV.
ADI’s analysis is based on consumer video viewing in 2013 and 2014. It is comprised of the aggregated and anonymous data from media and entertainment sites gathered from Adobe Analytics and Adobe Primetime. Sample information includes 165 billion total online video starts and 1.53 billion online TV authentications.
Online TV Consumption At All-Time High
Overall, online TV consumption has increased 388% YoY, driven by its flexibility in letting viewers watch shows however, whenever, and wherever they want.
“Such growth means that more people are watching more content online,” said Matthew Roberts, senior marketing analyst at ADI. “Frequency is up, unique visitors are up, and marketers need to take note.”
Furthermore, networks saw unique monthly viewership grow significantly—a whopping 146% YoY—across their online TV channels. At the same time, the number of authenticated videos watched per viewer grew 55% YoY.
“Traditionally, people consumed TV content through their cable or satellite box,” Roberts explained. “But they are now bringing their TV viewing online through various devices. Television marketers need to be thinking of interesting, new ways to tap into this online television audience or risk not getting their message across to a growing mass of individuals. Online TV is becoming a real player in premium subscription TV packages.”
The YoY growth in unique visitors has been impressive, but the breakout in 2014 is unprecedented. This year alone has seen a surge in monthly unique viewership up 85% over the past six months, according to ADI.
Smartphones Top Tablets
Viewing of online (nonauthenticated) videos on smartphones (14% share) has now surpassed tablets (13% share), while game console and OTT devices realized the highest market share growth, with 127% YoY.
Video viewing on smartphones is continuing to increase (59% YoY growth), as newer devices with faster network speeds encourage more consumers to view video content. Tablet share growth is slowing down—up only 29% YoY, compared with 42% in the previous quarter.
When it comes to online video completion rates, people watched video content on desktops for the longest amount of time, ADI found. In fact, desktop consumers of content were three times more likely to reach 75% completion. On the other hand, only 17% of videos on smartphones were watched through 75% completion.
“Consumers live busy lives and are constantly on the go, so the growth in online TV and online video overall is understandable since people get to watch whenever they have the time, unlike traditional live TV,” Roberts told CMO.com. “Another implication for marketers: They need to think about how consumers are accessing online TV content—whether it is mobile, tablet, OTT, gaming consoles, or desktop—and figure out the opportunities for each.”
About Adobe Digital Insights
Adobe Digital Insights publishes research on digital marketing and other topics of interest to senior marketing and e-commerce executives across industries. Research is based on the analysis of select, anonymous, and aggregated data from more than 5,000 companies worldwide that use the Adobe Digital Marketing Cloud to obtain real-time data and analysis of activity on websites, social media, and advertising.
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