SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Avi Rosenthal, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Accenture Consumer Survey Finds Addressable Screens Reshaping the Entertainment Landscape

Consumer viewing of TV programming and movies over the Internet is growing, according to a new survey released today by Accenture (NYSE:ACN). The demand for more devices and more online content, as well as consumers’ willingness to pay for better access to content, is reshaping the media and entertainment landscape.

The fourth annual multi-national “Accenture Digital Consumer Survey” for communications, media and technology companies, found significant daily consumption of online content across a number of different devices and video screens.

The survey found that 25 percent of respondents indicated they intend to purchase a connected TV in the next 12 months. And, another 11 percent intend to replace an existing connected television, while 12 percent plan to purchase a tablet, expanding the market of addressable screens even further.

“If consumers act on these intentions, it will represent remarkable growth in the addressable market for online video,” said Gavin Mann, Accenture’s global broadcast industry lead. “This rapid digital expansion is fostering a new era of personalized TV experiences with the number of video-centric connected devices predicted to surpass the world’s population by 2017.”

The survey also found that close to half (44 percent) of all respondents are viewing full-length movies and TV shows over the Internet on a daily basis, and 39 percent do so weekly. This demand was not hindered by the fact that 86 percent reported streaming interruptions and 71 percent noted considerable slowdowns in the viewing experience.

In an encouraging sign for service providers, 60 percent of respondents streaming video at home indicated they were willing to pay for a faster connection, while just as many (62 percent) said they would pay extra for better quality so they could view videos whenever and wherever they like.

“Today’s consumers are viewing so much online video content that they are willing to pay for faster connections,” said Mann. “That’s good news for content owners and for the service providers who are investing heavily in super-fast broadband. The fact that consumers are also willing to pay more for the content itself is a huge vote of confidence in the validity of over-the-top services.”

Battle of the Titans: New Entrants, New Services

Consumers clearly want all of their content to be seamlessly bundled. When asked to express their preference for a non-traditional broadcaster to provide them access to video, respondents selected Google, Apple and Samsung, in that order. The selections were based on the companies’ potential to deliver Pay TV, VOD and Catch-up TV, not the current core capabilities of these companies.

“It is no coincidence that the three most popular brands also have the largest market share of phones and tablets. Consumers clearly value content seamlessly bundled with devices – the reason Amazon dominates the ebook market with Kindle – it provides the best end-to-end experience. It will be interesting to see if Amazon climbs up the list when they launch a TV product,” said Mann.

“These disruptors are clearly bringing a lot of new technology to our century-old television viewing experience. Today’s incumbents have a great opportunity if they can innovate, while successfully leveraging their core strengths. Tomorrow’s high performers – will be those that combine art and technology.”

Consumers Willing to Take Chances

Consumers expressed growing confidence in Ultra HDTV, with 18 percent looking forward to buying an Ultra HDTV set over the next 12 months despite a lack of content and streaming outlets. This suggests a trajectory similar to that off HD, where strong early adoption of TV sets ultimately drove up the supply of HDTV channels and Blu-ray discs.

Despite more than half (55 percent) of respondents expressing concerns about data security, two-thirds (67 percent) are willing to provide additional personal data if service providers will offer additional services or discounts. Of course, these offers need to comply with local data protection laws. Having grown-up with computers, Millennials appear to be the generation that is most comfortable sharing their personal information, with Generation X and Baby Boomers significantly less trusting.

“Broadcasters must gain this trust if they are going to offer new products and services such as recommendation engines and targeted advertising based on consumer data,” said Mann.

Mobile Video is the Next Frontier

Consumers are viewing digital content across more mobile screens but it remains anchored in the home. The overwhelming majority (more than 90 percent) of all digital consumption still occurs in the home via a fixed line. Bandwidth constraints outside the home also continue to limit mobile entertainment to a highly significant degree.

“There is a significant opportunity here for providers that can offer a truly mobile video experience regardless of location. The race is on to create the compelling mobile user experience, ‘the Spotify for Video’ – which, combined with increased 4G network coverage, could create the next tipping point,” said Mann.

If you would like to contribute to the ongoing discussion about these themes and trends, please join us online at Pulse of Media or follow #PulseofMedia on Twitter.

Methodology

The Accenture Digital Consumer Survey was conducted online between October and December, 2013, with 23,000 consumers in 23 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The sample in each country is representative of the online population, with respondents ranging in age from 14 to 55 and over. The survey polled respondents about their daily consumption of online content across a number of devices and video screens.

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 289,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$28.6billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2013. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

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