Over the last few years the way in which we consume television programs has evolved significantly. Technological advancements have meant that we are now able to watch on a variety of different devices, as well as interact with other viewers regarding the content. In addition, we can also watch programs as and when we want thanks to on-demand and catch-up services. Now, a study by UK entertainment site Digital Spy reveals some interesting facts about how these changes have impacted on our viewing habits.
Perhaps the most surprising revelation is that the majority of viewers still prefer to watch TV as it is being aired. Although services such as Sky Anytime, BBC iPlayer and ITV Player have proven to be popular; 75% of the 3,000 UK viewers polled admitted that they preferred to watch live TV. Of the on-demand services available, BBC iPlayer emerged as the most popular, followed closely by YouTube and then ITV Player.
Whilst there hasn’t been as big a change in when we view content as some might have expected, the way we watch has changed significantly. Staggeringly, 20.5% of the participating consumers claimed that they now use their iPad to stream live TV, with 26.5% accessing programmes via their iPhone. The figures reveal not only a huge shift in viewing habits, but also just how far reaching Apple’s products have become. However, we shouldn’t forget Android-powered devices, with 8.9% of those questioned using this option.
Interaction and the future
An interesting finding from the survey is that many people now multitask whilst they have the TV on. Surfing the web is most commonly the other activity that they engage in. The ability to quickly access social networking accounts means that viewers are able to comment on what is on their screens.
Facebook is the favoured platform for viewers to comment, with 44.6% using it to air their thoughts on what is on their screen. Twitter isn’t too far behind, with 39.8% making use of the social networking site. Where watching TV was once something that we did either on our own, or with others in the room; we are now beginning to interact with friends and family who are in other locations.
With the emergence of Smart TVs it could even be that in the future we have a small box in the bottom of our screens that allows us to see other people via a webcam, much like video conferencing, as we watch TV. So even if your partner is at the other end of the world, you will have the capacity to enjoy a show together, or even a film, in much the same way as if you were sat at home together. Only this way you won’t have to share your popcorn!
Image courtesy: guardian