TV execs have spent considerable time struggling to figure out those multitasking, multiplatform, multi-headache-generating consumers lately. Why can’t they just park it in front of the tube and watch those commercials, dammit!? Well, recent studies suggest that traditional TV is still going strong despite the multiplatform mantra out there. First, there was the Nielsen/CTAM study last week suggesting that most adults (94%) who subscribe to cable or satellite prefer to watch TV on traditional TV sets. Now, research firm Knowledge Networks suggests that not only are consumers still watching the traditional video, but they’re spending more money on it as well. In fact, the study found that yes… Generation Y (ages 14-29) and X (30-43) are indeed way ahead of “young Boomers” (44-55) in terms of using online and mobile video—but their spending on those video sources is unimpressive. The study shows that the average person aged 13-54 spends roughly $31 per month on video-related content. Of this, about $13 goes to TV service, and another $13 from buying and renting DVDs; meanwhile, spending on emerging video distribution channels accounts for less than $5 combined.
That’s an interesting dynamic to ponder. The industry really has no choice but to embrace multiplatform strategies to ensure relevance in the future. But at the same time, more and more research seems to suggest that the traditional sources of video—linear TV, DVD rentals, etc—are still the biggest audience and revenue drivers. "DVDs are the bread and butter of content providers," said David Tice, vp and group account director at Knowledge Networks and director, The Home Technology Monitor. "But the growing availability of video in digital forms is impacting peoples’ expectations; we found, for example, that 84% of consumers expect to be able to watch video on the device of their choice. The question is, will consumers be willing to pay for the convenience of access in the digital world? And how can content and service providers encourage repeat use and buying in the new media?"
Here are how some of the study’s numbers break down:
Monthly Video Spending
— $13.43 on TV service
— $7.60 for DVD purchase; $5.14 for DVD rental
— 76 cents for VHS rental; $1.85 for VHS purchase
— 61 cents on PPV movies and events
— 44 cents on VOD — 37 cents on streaming video
— 26 cents on cellphone video
— 25 cents on downloaded video