8 November 2014

Ericsson unveils consumer video consumption insights for Singapore

Need to know where to park your marketing dollars? The latest edition of the annual Ericsson ConsumerLab TV & Media Report* may have some clues. 

The study, now in its fifth year, covered 1,000 respondents in Singapore for the first time. The report shows that 80% of Singaporeans stream their TV/video content more than once a week, while 72% watch broadcast programmes on TV. In comparison, 
75% of consumers around the world watch streamed content several times a week, compared to 77% who watch scheduled broadcast TV programmes several times a week.

“People do not watch TV any more, they watch content. They are relating to content categories and titles rather than to TV or access technologies. Today, almost any content category can be consumed on its own merits and most content categories are diverging from the traditional TV context,” says Afrizal Abdul Rahim, Head of ConsumerLab, Ericsson South East Asia & Oceania.

“Consumers expect to access content across all devices, turning the TV into just another screen. For example, in Singapore, 55% of consumers access the Internet on one or more of their TVs.”

More consumers are into binge watching, Abdul Rahim added. More than half (51%) want all of the episodes released at once so they can watch the story unfold at their preferred pace, versus 48% globally.

The findings have implications for service providers, Abdul Rahim said. “The landscape is changing rapidly, and business and delivery models will have to keep pace if they are to continue to deliver perceived value to consumers.”

Traditional TV broadcast content is also viewed differently, as consumers prefer to record it on the digital video recorder to watch later, at their convenience. In Singapore, the survey found that 19% percent of consumers record content from broadcast TV for viewing later, and 40% switch between screens while they watch content. An example of multiscreening, or place switching, they start watching on one device, pause the stream and resume watching it on another device. 

Screens may also be used simultaneously, such as when consumers watch TV and discuss the content with others, or find out more about the TV content online. More than half (51%) say they read email while watching TV/video content, while 41% use apps or browse the Internet while the TV is on.

As mentioned by 66% of respondents, YouTube is the most popular platform (for streaming and downloading) for on-demand TV and videos in Singapore, particularly if it is user-generated content as opposed to content from commercial entities. Content-wise, news is the most important for consumers (76%). 

Smartphones and tablets have become more popular for consuming content. Smartphone penetration rates are 80% for Singapore, ahead of Australia with 70% penetration, Abdul Rahim commented. The drivers for mobile viewing include better Internet connectivity, increased smartphone use, services enabling on-the-go viewing such as Netflix, the availability of relevant content, pause-and-resume capability and more mobile devices at home, he said. 

Each week, Singaporeans spend an average of 10 hours watching video content on their TV screens, compared to six hours per week on their desktop computer and seven hours per week on their laptop. They do the same with smartphones for five hours a week, and three hours per week on their tablets. 

The mobile devices see more use at home, with smartphone viewing taking up three hours at home, and two hours outside the home, such as at the office or while commuting. Tablets are used for viewing for two hours at home, and one hour away from home, Abdul Rahim shared. In fact, 25% of consumers watch video while commuting on a weekly basis.

Singaporeans revealed that they will view video content on a mobile device if the content is good, they have network connectivity that supports it, and they are using a smartphone. However, the content should have pause/resume capability for place switching, and services must support mobile viewing.

The place shifting phenomenon is driven by smartphones, says the study. Four in ten respondents from Singapore said they do this on a weekly basis against global figures of 36%. 

Barriers to adoption are very consistent with global findings, Abdul Rahim added. Cost of data as well as cost of content are two of the main barriers, while the mobile data connection might be too slow. 

A third of Singapore respondents say their mobile data connections are too slow stream video, despite the fact that Australia followed by Singapore have the highest network connections in Asia Pacific, noted Abdul Rahim. 

*All charts from the The Ericsson ConsumerLab TV & Media 2014 report.

*The Ericsson ConsumerLab TV & Media 2014 report is based on 23,000 online interviews conducted in May 2014 with broadband users in Brazil, Canada, Chile, mainland China, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, UAE, the UK and the US. Almost all respondents use the Internet on a daily basis. The results of this study represent the views of more than 620 million people.

This data was complemented with 22 in-depth interviews with consumers in San Francisco, London and Stockholm, as well as 11 interviews with media industry professionals.