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Piksel Binge Viewing Survey

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Piksel Binge Viewing Survey

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  1. 08 Fall Results of Binge Viewing Survey September 2013 © 2013. Piksel. All Rights Reserved. © 2013. Piksel. All Rights Reserved. Page 1 of 15

  2. RESULTS Binge viewing-- watching all thirteen or thirty hours of a series in the course of a few marathon sessions has become something of a phenomenon over the past few years, due mostly to the rise in streaming services that allow for this sort of behavior. (Unlike a DVD, Netflix can be watched on any number of devices in any number of locations.) Our survey set out to capture the behavior of binge viewers, while probing them for some other clues as to their viewing habits. BINGE VIEWERS The results on binge viewing were not particularly shocking: 62% of respondents prefer some combination of complete bingeing and “sipping”-- watching an episode or two every few days. Of the rest, they were fairly evenly split between dedicated bingers (17%) and sippers (16%) with 6% saying they never binge watched. © 2013. Piksel. All Rights Reserved. Page 2 of 15

  3. BINGER’S INSOMNIA” And of the 94% who did binge watch, over two-thirds (69%) admitted to Bingers Insomnia - “staying up way too late just to watch ‘the first 15 minutes’ of the next episode of a show” they’d been bingeing on. LIVE VIEWING ON THE DECLINE? There was one surprising result from the survey however: an overwhelming majority of bingers do not exclusively watch their favorite shows live: only 11% admitted to preferring a live viewing experience, with another 6% copping to watching “almost live” --- starting the show 10-20 minutes later so they can fast © 2013. Piksel. All Rights Reserved. Page 3 of 15

  4. forward and skip the commercials. Of the remaining 83%, a full 57% watched via DVR, VOD or streaming services, with another 26% choosing “all of the above.” There are significant ramifications for the industry if those numbers are indicative of a broader trend. Our interpretation is that while people still watch live TV (over 80% of the TV viewing in the US is live) they are increasingly using new technology-- streaming, DVR and VOD-- to carve out a special time to watch the handful of shows that they are into. They do this in order to avoid commercials-- or at least the 5 minute commercial blocks that dominate much of prime time TV-- and to be able to savor the show without additional distractions. This is bad news for Twitter and other services that rely on live interaction, but good news for second screen apps that are betting on viewers preferring to have their additional experiences before or after the show. This includes everything from additional or behind-the-scenes content to polls and statistics to message boards and scenes-from-next-week. © 2013. Piksel. All Rights Reserved. Page 4 of 15

  5. ALL AT ONCE In this same vein, the survey revealed that close to two-thirds of viewers preferred the Netflix approach of releasing all episodes of a series at once (64%) versus only 13% who preferred the traditional method of one episode a week. (23% had no preference either way.) While this number is likely skewed due to the fact that we are talking to an audience of self-identified binge viewers, Netflix and other streaming services do not seem to be shying away from this practice, so we can assume the general population holds a similarly favorable view. (Or that Netflix is sadly deluded. But given their strong reliance on data, we’d say that’s unlikely.) CORD CUTTERS © 2013. Piksel. All Rights Reserved. Page 5 of 15

  6. The final surprising stat is that a full 20% of the respondents claimed to have recently “cut the cord” on pay TV. Again, this number is likely skewed by the make-up of the audience for the survey, but it does show that among this cohort, cord-cutting is becoming more popular. What was particularly interesting about that statistic is that it seemed to cut across all ages and income levels as well as geographic regions: © 2013. Piksel. All Rights Reserved. Page 6 of 15

  7. ABOUT THE RESPONDENTS BY INDUSTRY While 44% of the respondents worked in the media or advertising industries (27% and 17%, respectively) their responses varied little from those of the 56% who worked elsewhere or were students. © 2013. Piksel. All Rights Reserved. Page 7 of 15

  8. GENDER Men made up 62% of the respondents, but again, their responses were surprisingly similar to those of female survey takers. The gender split also remained fairly consistent across countries and age and income levels. © 2013. Piksel. All Rights Reserved. Page 8 of 15

  9. NATIONALITY The majority of respondents were from the US (72%), with the UK (15%), Canada (3%) and Australia (2%) also represented. Overall, responses came from 21 different countries including Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Qatar, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand and Turkey, which indicates that binge viewing is a global phenomenon. © 2013. Piksel. All Rights Reserved. Page 9 of 15

  10. AGE All ages were represented, with the greatest concentrations being 25-34 (30%), 35-44 (36%) and 45-54 (21%). © 2013. Piksel. All Rights Reserved. Page 10 of 15

  11. INCOME LEVEL A similar range of (self-reported) income levels was also represented: 29% made under $75,000, 34% made between $75,000-150,000, while 37% made over $150,000. VARIATIONS Surprisingly, results varied little over all the demographic variables: adjusting for gender, income, location and age only resulted in small variations of 5% or less. Which further validates the idea that TV viewing habits are fairly universal. (One exception: while 56% of Australians and 26% of Brits said they had never subscribed to pay TV, only 9% of Americans reported that, which is is line the the high (>80%) penetration rate for pay TV in the US.) © 2013. Piksel. All Rights Reserved. Page 11 of 15

  12. TV TRIVIA The final question in the survey was a TV trivia quiz. Respondents knew what Alice, the Brady Bunch’s housekeeper’s boyfriend’s did for a living (butcher), what show Susan Dey starred in before she was on LA Law (The Partridge Family), the real name of Nursie from Black Adder 2 (Bernard), what type of animal Mike Myers’ Saturday Night Live character Dieter, the host of Sprokets, kept as a pet (a monkey), the name of Diahann Carroll’s groundbreaking 1960s series (Julia) and the real name of Mad Men’s Don Draper (Dick Whitman.) The only question that stumped them was the name of the ship on The Love Boat. (The Pacific Princess.) © 2013. Piksel. All Rights Reserved. Page 12 of 15

  13. CONCLUSIONS Binge Viewing is a habit that promises to become more and more entrenched as viewers discover new programs that interest them and watching TV in real time becomes less and less of an imperative. How a viewer binge watches is dependent on the type of programming and the viewer’s own schedule: sometimes the heart is willing, but the calendar says “no” -- family and work obligations come first. Other times, the show is compelling, but not compelling enough to give up a few nights sleep. Our suspicion is that serial programs, where each episode ends in a cliffhanger, account for a large percentage of the sleepless nights that 65% of respondents reported having. Of far greater interest, however, is the report that only 18% watch their favorite programs live. The hypothesis we’ve drawn is that most people have a handful of shows (two or three at any one time) that they follow religiously. The advent of time shifting technologies allows them to watch those shows when they can devote their full attention to the show without the distraction of friends, family, the internet and commercials. The ramifications of that behavior are wide-ranging and support our theory that the future of second screen will consist of curated experiences that happen before or after the viewer watches the show. Those experiences will be heavy on “stories”-- everything from scenes-from-next-week to exclusive second-screen only content to sponsored content to polls and message boards. The idea is to give hardcore fans a special venue where they can connect with their favorite shows and with other fans. The key is that for most, those connections will not happen in real time via Twitter, but rather on the viewer’s own time and at their own pace. © 2013. Piksel. All Rights Reserved. Page 13 of 15

  14. These sorts of second screen experiences are valuable to networks and advertisers alike, as they allow for detailed data collection and provide a venue for new ad units. In addition to selling ad space to outside advertisers, networks can also use these second screen experiences to promote their own shows, moving viewers from one hit series to the next. Given that over 20% of the ads on US television are currently network promotions, that is already a sizable market in and of itself. In terms of functionality, the survey results has increased our advocacy of old school message boards: hardcore fans want a place to discuss the show in more than 140 characters, and a binge viewer who finishes watching at 2 AM may not have any friends up and available to join in a conversation. The final result that caught our attention was the fact that a full 20% of respondents reported that they had recently cut the cord and gave up pay TV. That statistic seemed to cut across all age, gender and economic groups. While the survey respondents were likely early adopters who are ahead of the general population, the fact is they are not that far ahead. While we’re just seeing the very first slivers of evidence that cord cutting may be real, that trend will speed up quickly unless MVPDs start creating systems that rival Netflix in terms of ease of use and overall accessibility. (On the other hand, they may not care to, given that they control broadband access in most homes and may decide it’s just easier to make up the lost revenue off of increased broadband fees...) Binge viewing is just one example of the way TV viewing habits are changing a new technology puts viewers in control. It’s up to the industry to adapt to these changes rather than try and fight them. Every change brings with it the chance for greater profits and loyalty. The challenge is out there. We’ve just got to take it. © 2013. Piksel. All Rights Reserved. Page 14 of 15

  15. For more information about Piksel and this report, contact Alan Wolk, Global Lead Analyst at Piksel. © 2013. Piksel. All Rights Reserved. Page 15 of 15