Think media is fragmented now? Just wait

April 20, 2009

A new study from Accenture landed today, and the glass half-full view for broadcast executives is that consumption of TV content is growing.  Here’s what the consultancy says about the results from its Consumer Broadcast Survey of nearly 14,000 people across 13 countries :

The results of this year’s survey indicate that television viewership has grown since last year, with an increase in viewers watching six or more television channels (40 percent of respondents this year vs. 35 percent in 2008) and watching eight or more television programs per week (39 percent this year vs. 33 percent last year).

Of course, TV executives shouldn’t get too overjoyed. The survey also finds — to nobody’s real surprise — that consumers are increasingly watching their shows on devices other than the traditional TV (as we all know, this is what’s causing headaches for broadcast executives, since it’s forcing them to entirely rethink — with mixed results — how business has been done for the past 50-plus years). In other words, the business is only going to get more fragmented.

This year, 74 percent of the people surveyed are interested in watching some kind of content on a PC, up 13 percent from 2008, according to the study. Interest in mobile content also rose 13 percent, to 45 percent.

Other findings:

Despite more alternatives like the Internet and on-screen program guides that help consumers discover and find new content, consumers are still using traditional means to find content they would like to watch. These include commercials (selected by 40 percent of respondents), channel surfing (33 percent), recommendations from friends and family (30 percent) and TV listings (28 percent).

Despite the downturn in the global economy, consumers revealed an increased willingness to pay for different types of programming. For example, 49 percent of respondents indicated a willingness to pay for digital service programming, up from 37 percent in last year’s survey.

Respondents said they plan to spend less this year for most types of media content with physical content the most at risk. According to the survey, the biggest net revenue loss will be in DVD sales (6 percentage points less than last year), followed by on demand video (5 percentage points less), and downloading content to a mobile phone or PC (3 percentage points less.)

Keep an eye on:

  • Officials at the bitterly divided Screen Actors Guild said they approved a tentative contract on Sunday, clearing the way for the 120,000 members of Hollywood’s biggest union to vote on the deal (Reuters)
  • Topping the box office this weekend was “17 Again,” in which “High School Musical” star Zac Efron plays a dispirited 37-year-old family man who gets to relive his glory days at high school (Reuters)
  • WPP has filed a lawsuit against ad creator Spot Runner for securities fraud and breach of contract (

(Photo: Reuters)

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