By Anders Erlandsson, 07 November, 2016.

Ericsson ConsumerLab TV and Media Report 2016 Overview Part Two: The evolution of TV user groups

In Friday’s blog, we looked at some of the key statistics from the 2016 Ericsson ConsumerLab TV and Media report. However, just as the preferences for watching TV and video content are changing, so is when and through which screen the content is viewed. This has forced the media industry to adapt and introduce new types of content and formats. These habits are not shifting equally for all consumers. In fact, the comparisons between the different types of TV users has generated a number of very interesting changes. 

New media habits for TV user groups

Over the last seven years of this study, we have been able to discern user groups with distinct profiles and ascertain how consumers in 2016 have adopted new personas and viewing patterns. We have categorized these TV user groups as: 

- TV Couch Traditionalists: Heavy viewers of broadcasted live/linear content via the traditional TV screen, but not much other TV and video consumption. In 2010, this group made up approximately 20 percent of all consumers, but since then, this group has shrunk in size by more than 30 percent. They now make up 14 percent of all consumers. 

- Computer Centrics: Mainly consume streamed/downloaded TV and video via the computer screen. This group oversaw an even larger decline than TV Couch Traditionalists, making up 22 percent in 2010 but only 14 percent in 2016.

- Screen Shifters: Use any screen, anywhere for all kinds of TV and video content. In contrast to the two groups above, Screen Shifters grew by 33 percent over the same period, taking a 20 percent share of the market. They now spend an average of 62 hours watching TV and video content each week (27 hours more than the next largest user group, TV Couch Traditionalists) across multiple screens in parallel.

- Mobility Centrics: Predominantly use the mobile screen for all TV/video consumption (except broadcasted live/linear content). They increased in number by more than 300 percent in that time (5 percent share in 2010, growing to a 20 percent share in 2016). Alongside Screen Shifters, they are the largest TV user group today).

- Average TV Joes: Average TV viewing time and light viewing of other video content. Their most popular form of content is broadcasted live/linear TV.

- TV Zeros: Light TV and video usage overall. This group has shrunk in number, making up 15 percent of all TV users today (19 percent in 2010).

The growth of Mobility Centrics and Screen Shifters and the subsequent shrinkage of TV Couch Traditionalists since 2010, has been driven by increased consumer demand for greater flexibility and convenient access to high quality content. Pricing and the perception of value for money is key; recurring price hikes, limited choice and lack of accessibility is now testing consumer loyalty and in the long term, a poor experience will ultimately result in lost revenues. As these different user groups engage with a plethora of new services, traditional providers must deliver tailored offerings that reflect this consumer shift.  

The future of TV is now

However the future appears bright. In the US, for example, the average monthly household spend on paid broadcasted live/linear TV services across all user groups has actually increased from $54 (2010-2012) to $71 (2014-2016). When we break this down into TV user groups, this means:

- TV Couch Traditionalists ($85) and Screen Shifters ($75) spend the most on paid broadcasted live/linear TV services each month

- However, TV Couch Traditionalists (+$23), Mobility Centrics (+$22) and Average TV Joes (+$22) have increased their spending the most between the period 2010-2012, to 2014-2016 

- There was no change in annual spend for Screen Shifters during this time.

In terms of average monthly household spend on Video on Demand (VOD) services, total user spend has increased from $13 (2010-2012) to $20 (2014-2016), driven predominantly by Mobility Centrics, Screen Shifters and Computer Centrics. 

As we enter the Internet era of TV, appealing to the Mobility Centric and Screen Shifting groups will be fundamental. Consumers want a combination of à la carte TV content, including both live experiences and on-demand capabilities, enabling the ability to create their own world of compelling, personalized content. Indeed, competitive and more flexible pricing for TV services will enable consumers to choose the types of content they want to watch, ultimately increasing their willingness to pay in the process. 

Read more about evolving mobile viewing habits in the next part of our ConsumerLab key findings series. You can find the full 2016 report here.

Written by Anders Erlandsson

As Senior Advisor at Ericsson ConsumerLab, Anders Erlandsson is responsible for analyzing consumer behavior, attitudes and trends to give Ericsson and Ericsson’s customers valuable consumer insights and forecasts to develop strategies that generate revenue and improve the customer experience. Anders Erlandsson joined Ericsson in 1991. He has been a frequent speaker at numerous industry conferences and customer events. He has worked extensively with consumer insights is areas such as social media, privacy & integrity, mobile commerce, rich communication and TV & media.

Anders Erlandsson is based in Stockholm, Sweden and has previously held various Product Management, Business Development, Sales and Marketing positions in Sweden and in the UK. He holds an MSc in Industrial Engineering and Management from the Linköping Institute of Technology, Sweden.

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