Multi-screen Viewership Boosts TV Fandom and Loyalty, According to Viacom's "Getting With the Program: TV's Funnels, Paths and Hurdles"
New Research Explores How Audiences Discover, Trial and Watch TV
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA) today unveiled the results of "Getting With
the Program: TV's Funnels, Paths and Hurdles," a new study exploring how
audiences discover, watch and become fans of TV shows. The findings
reveal that the proliferation of devices and sources is having a
positive impact on viewership and fandom. Additionally, multi-screen
viewers (those who used multiple screens and sources) demonstrate a
preference for live TV and stronger network loyalty compared to
single-screeners (those who only used one screen).
The study involved in-person interviews in Boston and Chicago and online
surveys of more than 1,500 U.S. Viacom viewers ages 13-44. The online
survey included digital diaries on TV viewing paths, for which
respondents listed up to 10 TV programs in the order they watched them
"yesterday," and logged more than 7,000 shows.
"The goal of our research was to uncover the often complex paths
audiences take to discovering and becoming fans of our content," said
Colleen Fahey Rush, Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer,
Viacom Media Networks. "What we're seeing is that the myriad of sources
and devices has taken fandom to new heights, making TV a bigger part of
our audiences' lives than ever before."
The study shows that, compared to a few years ago, a vast majority (79%)
of viewers say having more ways of accessing shows helps them try more
programs and 78% wouldn't have become fans of some shows if they
couldn't watch in multiple ways. Multi-screen viewership is also
connected to a stronger preference for live TV and network loyalty:
47% of multi-screeners say it's important to watch their favorite
shows live, versus 23% of single-screeners;
45% of multi-screeners are loyal to a few networks, versus 28% of
45% of multi-screeners wouldn't give up pay TV because they rely on
DVR, versus 22% of single-screeners.
Funnels to Fandom
The process of becoming a fan occurs over the course of a five-stage
process, or a TV viewing funnel. The journey starts with discovery of a
show, followed by research, selection, fandom and ultimately sharing.
Discovery: in-person word of mouth is the #1 source for show
discovery at 90%, closely followed by TV promos at 85% and word of
mouth online or via social media at 78%.
Research: once aware of a show, viewers usually watch an
episode to find out more (55%), check when it airs next (42%) or
discuss with friends or family (35%). Nearly a quarter usually discuss
the show online and via social media.
Selection: when deciding what device or source to trial a TV
show on, live TV is the most popular source (57%), followed by
streaming (22%), DVR (10%) and VOD (6%).
Fandom: once a viewer becomes a fan, they first want to know
when the show airs on TV (61%), whether it is live (52%) and whether
it is in-season or not (48%). When they've decided to continue
watching, 53% watch on live TV.
Among fans, marathoning is popular across all age groups: 83% of
Millennials say this is one of their favorite ways to watch,
followed by 72% of Gen Xers and 65% of Digital Natives.
Sharing: 61% of viewers recommend a show to others in-person,
while 38% invite others to co-view. Among Digital Natives (ages
13-17), invitations to co-view are most prevalent at 47%, followed by
Millennials (ages 18-34) at 40% and Gen Xers (ages 35-44) at 29%.
TVs are the most-used device for show discovery and fandom, while
computers are most used for research. Live TV is the most-used source
for show trial and continuing to watch a show.
Within the TV viewing funnel, audiences are dedicating more time to the
discovery and research stages, which is driving greater fandom and
sharing. Compared to a few years ago:
73% become interested in new shows more quickly;
50% spend more time researching shows before watching;
81% watch a greater variety of shows;
83% are fans of more shows at the same time; and
61% agree that TV is a bigger part of their social life.
Paths to Viewing
Drawing on data from the digital diaries, the study explores the
different ways viewers watch TV programs, or their viewing path. While
the growing number of devices and sources makes watching TV more
complicated, it also promotes viewing.
Gen Xers show a heavy reliance on live TV: 45% only watch live TV and
80% watch live TV at any point in a given viewing path.
While Millennials tend to stream more than Gen Xers, they still rely
on live TV: 33% only watch live TV and 66% watch live TV at any point
in a given viewing path.
Digital Natives rely on a mix of streaming and live TV: 45% only watch
live TV and 70% watch live TV at any point in a given viewing path.
Hurdles, Encountered and Overcome
There are a number of hurdles viewers encounter when looking for
specific TV shows. The most common is not having access to the latest
episode (79%), followed by not being able to find the show on TV (77%).
Audiences turn to alternate devices and sources to overcome these
hurdles. For example, when a viewer cannot find their show on TV, they
usually watch something else on live TV, DVR or VOD. If they are looking
for the same show, they first go to network/show apps or sites, followed
by download-to-own sources like iTunes or Amazon. Viewers ranked
"deciding not to watch TV" as the least likely solution for each hurdle.
"Our fans are very driven and solution-oriented when it comes to finding
their favorite shows," continued Rush. "We want to encourage that fandom
by making content available whenever, wherever our audiences' TV viewing
paths take them. Understanding these paths will help us leverage
multiplatform opportunities even more strategically."
The Future of TV is Bright
Viewers are very positive about TV's future when asked to look ahead
84% agree that they will have more options for where, how and what to
83% will watch a greater variety of TV programs.
79% will keep up with more TV programs at the same time.
76% expect better recommendations from sources and devices.
Viacom is home to premier global media brands that create compelling
television programs, motion pictures, short-form video, apps, games,
consumer products, social media and other entertainment content for
audiences in more than 160 countries and territories. Viacom's media
networks, including MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, BET, CENTRIC, Nickelodeon, Nick
Jr., TeenNick, Nicktoons, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central, TV Land, SPIKE,
Channel 5 (UK), Tr3s, Paramount Channel and VIVA, reach approximately
700 million households worldwide. Paramount Pictures, America's oldest
film studio, is a major global producer and distributor of filmed
For more information about Viacom and its businesses, visit www.viacom.com.
Keep up with Viacom news by following Viacom's blog at blog.viacom.com
and Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/Viacom.
Neena Koyen, 212-846-8458
News Provided by Acquire Media
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