The proliferation of devices is increasing access to content, which recent data suggest is driving more consumption. Deloitte’s sixth-edition State of the Media Democracy survey reveals the introduction of new platforms has led to increases in the consumption of movies and other content.

Deloitte’s survey assesses media consumption preferences of nearly 2,000 consumers, ages 14 to 75 years old in the United States, revealing such significant trends as increased access to content driving consumption, smartphones continuing to challenge other devices, and the role of DVRs in preserving consumers’ cable and satellite television subscriptions.

>> Accessibility Drives Demand

Access to content is increasing American media consumption. Movies are available on a wider array of platforms: home TV via cable, satellite, DVD, pay-per-view and Internet; and online via streaming/downloading to a personal computer, gaming console, smartphone or tablet. As recently as 2009, only 28 percent of Americans reported streaming a movie; today, 42 percent report streaming. 

Moreover, the number of people citing streaming delivery of a movie to their computer or television as their favorite way of watching a movie rose to 14 percent from 4 percent in 2009. Most tellingly, in 2007, 37 percent said they had not viewed a movie, available for purchase or rental, during the past six months. In 2011, that percentage of non-consumers dropped to only 19 percent.

Says Phil Asmundson, vice chairman and U.S. media & telecommunications sector leader at Deloitte LLP, “Our data shows that while Americans may be less interested in physical content, their appetite for digital content continues to grow. That appetite, coupled with the introduction of new technologies, is leading consumers to access the content they want on a number of different devices. Consumers may be watching fewer television shows and movies on TV… but they have not stopped consuming the content.”

>> Smartphones Challenge Other Devices

Americans’ love of smartphones continues to grow. The number of households owning smartphones jumped to 42 percent in 2011 from 25 percent in 2009. Furthermore, the number of consumers interested in purchasing a smartphone in the near future increased to 52 percent in 2011 from 40 percent in 2010.

As adoption of smartphones grows, Americans are beginning to use them as “all in one” devices for a number of different tasks. In 2011, the survey found increases in Americans using text messaging (up to 78 percent in 2011 from 71 percent in 2009); mobile online search (46 percent in 2011 compared with 30 percent in 2009); GPS for directions (37 percent in 2011 versus 22 percent in 2009); and online banking, which was tracked for the first time in 2011 (19 percent).

>> The DVR Opportunity

The survey also shows Americans value cable TV and satellite TV above most other services, and using a DVR is the second-most preferred means of watching a favorite TV show. However, only 44 percent of those surveyed have DVR functionality. This represents an opportunity for cable and satellite TV companies to provide this highly valued viewing capability to millions of additional Americans.

At the same time, a number of Americans have already cut or are exploring cutting their pay-TV connection entirely. Deloitte’s survey found that 9 percent of people already have cut the cord, and 11 percent are considering doing so because they can watch almost all of their favorite shows online. An additional 15 percent of respondents said they most likely will watch movies, television programs, and videos from online digital sources (via download or streamed over the Internet) in the near future.

“Consumers have shown that they value DVR functionality, yet the majority of Americans don’t have a DVR in the home. This represents a potential opportunity for cable and satellite TV providers,” adds Asmundson. “In a world where consumers have other ways to access content, the DVR may be an underutilized service that could serve as a value-add for new and existing subscribers at minimal cost to cable and satellite TV companies.”
 
For more information on Deloitte’s State of the Media Democracy survey, click here.

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