Consumers turning to the Internet for TV

(Sergey Nivens/shutterstock.com)

(Sergey Nivens/shutterstock.com)

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 6:10 PM ET

Not only are consumers more willing than ever to pay a premium for online video content, they would be most happy to pay that money to Google, Apple or Samsung.

According to the Accenture Digital Consumer Survey, as technology changes the way that visual media is delivered, so do its viewers' expectations. Consumers increasingly want seamless access to premium TV content, video on demand and catch-up services ideally from the same source. And, when asked to express a preference for a broadcaster who could potentially deliver all of this, respondents selected Google, Apple and Samsung, in that order.

"It is no coincidence that the three most popular brands also have the largest market share of phones and tablets. Consumers clearly value content seamlessly bundled with devices -- the reason Amazon dominates the e-book market with Kindle -- it provides the best end-to-end experience. It will be interesting to see if Amazon climbs up the list when they launch a TV product," said Gavin Mann, Accenture's global broadcast industry lead.

The survey -- which gathers the opinions of 23,000 consumers across 23 countries including Brazil, China, India, France, the U.K., Russia, the U.S., the UAE and South Korea -- also found that the increasing use of the Internet for watching TV shows is also creating more demand for "connected" screens. One quarter of respondents plan to buy a connected TV within the next 12 months while a further 11% intend to upgrade their existing connected TV in the same period.

Just over one in 10 (12%) of those surveyed are also in the market for a tablet, while 18% are looking forward to buying their first ultra-high-definition TV set this year, and don't appear to be put off by the relative lack of native content or streaming services available for the devices.

And when it comes to the viewing experience and the creation of new viewing habits, 44% said that they currently watch full-length movies and TV shows over the Internet every day, while 39% are doing so on a weekly basis.

Consumers willing to pay for better quality streaming

The fact that not all Internet connections were designed alike and that there can be massive differences in speed and quality doesn't seem to putting consumers off, either -- 86% experience streaming interruptions and 71% said that content has a habit of slowing down.

But rather than abandoning streaming, 60% said that as a result they would be willing to pay for a faster connection, while 62% said they'd pay for a better quality service, one that improves resolution but also enabled them to watch content whenever and wherever they liked.

However, bandwidth and mobile Internet restrictions mean that, for now at least, most (over 90%) Internet-enabled TV and film viewing still happens in the home. Accenture believes that this situation could change when 4G/LTE networks become commonplace and when streaming services designed for the networks come into being.

"Today's consumers are viewing so much online video content that they are willing to pay for faster connections," said Mann. "That's good news for content owners and for the service providers who are investing heavily in super-fast broadband. The fact that consumers are also willing to pay more for the content itself is a huge vote of confidence in the validity of over-the-top services."


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