Sharp drop in consumers that prefer watching shows on TV sets

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 26 April 2017

Consumers who prefer watching TV shows on television sets has dropped by 55% over the past year, according to the Accenture’s 2017 Digital Consumer Survey. 

The global online survey of 26,000 consumers in 26 countries found that only 26% of viewers prefer watching TV shows on the box, down from 52% a year ago.

The study highlights a shift in consumer viewing behaviour towards devices such as personal computers and smartphones. More than four in 10 consumers (42%) said they would rather view TV shows on a laptop or desktop, up from 32% in last year’s survey, and 13% would prefer watching TV on their smartphones, up from 10% last year.

The findings are at odds with recent Nielsen and OzTam multiscreen reports that indicate while video viewing is becoming increasingly fragmented, more than 80% is still done on TV sets.

The Accenture study suggests the decline in TV set viewing has occurred over the past four years, with 65% of consumers preferring it for viewing TV shows in 2014.

“The dominance of the TV set as the undisputed go-to entertainment device is ending,” says Gavin Mann, global managing director for Accenture’s broadcast business.

“While a great number of people still watch plenty of TV shows on TV sets, our research uncovers a rapid acceleration in their preference for viewing on other digital devices - especially laptops, desktops and smartphones.”

A recent Accenture report, Winning Experiences in the New Video World, shows that only one in five consumers (19%) prefer to watch sports on their TVs, down from 38% in the prior-year survey.

However, this trend doesn’t appear to match TV viewing habits in Australia where big ticket live sports events continue to dominate annual TV ratings.

Regional preferences

The report reveals a particularly steep decline over the past year in the proportion of Indian consumers who prefer to view TV shows on TV sets, which dropped from 47% to 10%.

In the US, the number fell 57% (from 59% to 25%) and the UK it dropped 55% (from 56% to 25%).

“Driving this rapid shift in consumer preferences is the growing convenience, availability and quality of more personalised and compelling content on laptop and desktop personal computers and smartphones,” Mann adds.

“The massive and accelerating push by communications and media companies to provide ubiquitous content - TV everywhere including over-the-top - has empowered consumers to access high-quality content across multiple devices.”

While consumers increasingly prefer to watch TV shows on laptops and desktops, the Accenture report suggests smartphones are becoming the preferred device for watching short video clips.

In the most recent survey, 41% of consumers said they would rather view these clips on their mobile handsets, up from 28% last year. 

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus