Once upon a time, we wandered the aisles of the local video, unable to make up our mind about which movie to rent. It was a waste of time, but it was usually better than whatever was airing on TV that night. Now the technology has changed, but we still spend an awful lot of time trying to find something that isn’t live TV.
According to the seventh annual ConsumerLab TV & Media Report from Ericsson, we spend 45% more time selecting a video from a streaming service than we do picking something from the live channel lineup, but we appear to be much happier with the results: 63% of us are satisfied with this on-demand content, compared to only 51% who were happy with what they found on TV.
Which would explain why we’re all watching more content online and cutting our TV time. According to the report — based on the viewership habits of 1.1 billion consumers across 24 countries — since 2012 the average consumer has increased their viewing on mobile devices by four hours a week.
Conversely, the time spent watching content on actual televisions has declined by 2.5 hours. But even those who continue to watch content on actual TVs are multitasking — using their smartphones or tablets at the same time.
Nearly 31% of respondents say they browse the internet related to what they’re watching, 19% say they take part in online discussions, and 20% are simply watching another program at the same time.
Ericsson found these viewing habits mean consumers have increased their TV and video watching by 1.5 hours since 2012.
“For consumers in general, and millennials in particular, being able to watch on the smartphone is key. Consumers not only want the shared, social broadcast TV experience, they also expect the flexibility of an à la carte on-demand media offering,” Zeynep Ahmet, senior advisor for Ericsson ConsumerLab, tells Fierce Cable in a statement.
As for what people are watching, the report found that 20% of viewers in the U.S. are watching paid-for premium content on their mobile devices.
In fact, spending on subscriptions to those Video on Demand (VOD) services has increased from $13/month to $20/month over four years.