At a time when streaming video viewing is upending TV business models, a new GfK study sheds light on the phenomenon, including which Internet-connected devices and services different viewers prefer.
The 2015 Ownership and Trend Report, from GfK’s The Home Technology Monitor™, reveals that households with at least one member of Generation X (roughly ages 35 to 49), and those where children (ages 17 and under) are present, are much more likely to stream video and view other content using an Internet-connected device attached to a TV – also known as “over-the-top” (OTT) viewing.
More than half (54%) of homes with kids view OTT content on a TV set, compared with a national average of 40% of all TV households. Child households are also significantly more likely than those without kids to be using all four key devices to watch OTT on a set. (See Table 1.) .
The research shows that using streaming video is now the third most common online activity, behind social networking and online shopping. This means that streaming is now reported to be more prevalent than listening to music online, instant messaging, and Internet gaming.
Among ethnic and racial groups, Hispanics (42%) and whites (40%) are at roughly the national average in their OTT use, while African Americans (29%) are significantly below. In terms of devices, Hispanics are much more likely than whites to use smart TVs and videogame systems for streaming OTT content to a TV set.
“The old stereotype of an OTT viewer hunched over a laptop or tablet is very much out of date,” says David Tice, Senior Vice President in GfK’s Media and Entertainment practice. “Rapid adoption of smart TVs and digital media players over the past three years has pushed OTT to the biggest screens in the home, with attendant expectations from consumers that OTT quality should be as good as regular TV service, and as easy to use as mobile OTT options.”