Now this surprised me. In a study conducted by Motorola in Europe and the Middle East, 32% of Millennials (ages 16-27) said they prefer to watch programming on a PC rather than a TV set. At first glance, the statistic makes no sense. If you could watch video on a big-screen, potentially high-definition television, why would you choose instead to watch it on a 15” monitor? I watch the occasional show online, but only when I can’t get it on my actual TV set. The only conclusion I can reach is that some people are having more trouble than I finding what they want to watch when they want to watch it through traditional television service. As more and more popular shows end up on the Web, some people are finding that flexibility and control outweigh the big-screen experience.
Message to service providers: don’t underestimate the importance of flexibility and control.
Service providers – cable, telecom and satellite providers – aren’t ignoring the signs. Big increases in VOD offerings, the introduction of multi-room DVR and other initiatives are expanding the options for TV watchers. Fiber-to-the-home deployments and DOCSIS 3.0 are making the Internet more functional as a video delivery platform. And IPTV is slowly creating a convergence of the benefits of an online experience and living-room TV.
But are service providers moving fast enough? Are they placing enough emphasis on giving consumers flexibility and control? We’re looking at a major shift in mindset for an entire industry in just a few short years. It’s a lot to understand, and to execute on.