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How quickly is cable and pay TV tuning out?


Source: Limelight Networks

One of the big obsessions for many in the broad telecoms/service provider industry is how quickly, if at all, people are switching to online video viewing for entertainment purposes in preference to so-called ‘linear’ TV watching.

The question is obviously important in the context of network business models - a TV element in a triple or quad-play service offering is only as valuable as the proportion of people who actively want to watch it as their main video channel. If and as that proportion dwindles then the multiplay strategy looks less a winner. Double play - vanilla broadband and mobile - becomes the more compelling set-up and that will advantage different sorts of players.  

Limelight Networks has released some new survey findings on that very subject and, as usual in these cases, has focussed on behaviour changes amongst so-called ‘young millennials’ (18 - 25 years) as a marker for overall behaviour change - the idea being that as this cohort get older and new 18 - 25s pour in to fill the gap, the population as a whole will gradually take on a ‘young millennial’ viewing preference.

It’s found that around  60 per cent of of 18-25 year-olds report watching at least 4-7 hours of online video per week while amongst those over 18 only 40 per cent said they watched at least 4-7 hours of online video per week.

Looked at from the other end of the telescope, only 20 per cent of 8-25 year-olds said they watched 1-2 hours per week, while 40 per cent of adults generally said they watched 1-2 hours.

It all looks a little bleak for cable and linear pay-TV providers. The findings also show that nine out of 10 consumers are up for “cutting the cord” on cable and pay TV and taking their video from over the top players if the circumstances were right.

“Our findings show that consumers are increasingly moving away from the traditional television experience towards online viewing,” says Jason Thibeault, senior director at Limelight and author of the report. “With Millennials leading this change, consumers are driven by the flexibility of being able to watch what they want, where they want, and on whatever device they choose.”


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According to Limelight, despite the popularity of mobile devices, PCs  are surprisingly still the top choice for consuming online video across all age groups. However, younger viewers are 10 percent more likely to watch on a smartphone than any other age group, it claims.

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