Nearly 2/3 (63 %) of global consumers have issues with Wi-Fi at home–a likely consequence of the growing number of connected media devices but also a big opportunity for service providers to improve connectivity issues, according to the 2015 Arris Consumer Entertainment Index, released Wednesday.
Worldwide, the average home now has six media devices connected to its Wi-Fi network, and the average household spends almost 6.5 hours each week streaming a subscription service. Moreover, 81% of those who stream now do so at least weekly, up from 72% just last year. However, 2/3 of consumers have experienced significant issues around slow Internet speeds that affect streaming and downloading of large files and video, according to Arris. On average, 54% of respondents say it is vital to have high-speed Wi-Fi that works beyond its current range.
When it comes to viewing behavior, there is a clear connection between Wi-Fi and mobile TV, with nearly 73% of people who watch mobile TV at least once a week using Wi-Fi to do so, according to the index. Popularity of mobile TV is maturing among younger demographics, but future growth might rely on older generations. The study finds more than half of all people now watch mobile TV, rising to 72% of 16-42-year-olds. However, while young people watch the most mobile TV, there has been no increase in the number of viewers. For 65+ year-old consumers, the number of mobile TV viewers has increased by a solid 11%, up from 19% last year. “We believe the older age groups are (slowly) increasing their interest in more flexible TV services as these services become more intuitive and offer better value,” Arris’ svp of global marketing Sandy Howe told us. Arris specifically looked at mobile viewing outside of home, including viewing on tablets, smartphones and laptops. The study indicated an increase in the 65+ group when it comes to interest in accessing any show from any device in any location, she said.
Despite the expansion of OTT services, the rate of growth for OTT users has been slow. Arris finds 1% growth in OTT users since last year. Again, the 65+ year-old age group saw a big 12% increase in terms of the number of OTT users. The average consumer spends 11.8 hours a week watching broadcast TV, versus 10 hours a week on subscription paid TV, 6.4 hours a week on Internet streaming via on-demand TV services, 6.3 hours a week on Internet TV and 7.6 hours a week on Internet streaming via paid subscription TV services. While many people have found a way to incorporate OTT into their homes to some extent, there are still significant limitations regarding Internet speeds and availability, Howe said. Because of streaming or downloading issues, many people are falling back on “traditional” TV to access the content they want, she said. “Additionally, our research shows that 58% of homes are still recording TV programs to DVR/local storage, which also cuts out the need for OTT in some cases,” said Howe.