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New Stats – Americans Love Pay TV Services

Motorola released the results of a new global survey today as part of the company’s ongoing Media Engagement Barometer (MEB). Among the high-level findings: Consumers across the world prefer paid subscription TV services to free, over-the-air content. From the press release: “…while free-to-air services are available to 67 percent of global viewers, compared to 57 percent for paid-for services, the most preferred TV services are subscription only.” In other words, yes, content is king.

More incredibly, the Motorola survey found that 86 percent of Americans pay for TV services. (The NPD Group pegged the number at 81 percent this time last year.)¬†Given the growth of DVR and VOD households, perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise. However, with regular industry discussion on how TV is evolving, it’s interesting to note that the subscription service model is still holding strong. A-la-carte optimists may have to reconsider their arguments.

The latest MEB survey covered several other consumer viewing trends as well. Take a look at the graphic below for a breakdown of scheduled TV viewing versus on-demand viewing versus online viewing. In a note of caution to traditional providers, nine percent of respondents said they watch mainly “other TV services,” generically defined as “online TV etc.”

The full press release and fact sheet on the new Motorola survey are both available online. The independent survey studied video consumption habits among 7,500 consumers in 13 markets.