More EU consumers watch video content on smartphones – survey

smartphone-video-Image by Claudia Dewald from Pixabay

More European consumers than ever are watching their favourite video shows and streamed content on their smartphones.

That’s according to The New Life of the Living Room, an exclusive study conducted by RTL AdAlliance in collaboration with smartclip and Ad Alliance Nederland, which has published the findings from its second edition, providing an in-depth view on Europeans’ attitude towards video content.

The results uncover the viewing habits of consumers across 10 markets, and their relationship with TV and advertising across a range of platforms.

RTL AdAlliance’s comprehensive study is based on a quantitative survey covering 8,532 individuals aged 18 to 64 across the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland.

The TV device remains the central focus of the living room.

As in the 2022 inaugural report, demand for connected TV devices continues to grow, while live TV is still the most consumed form of content.

The video consumption of European viewers has changed, however, as this new study revealed.

Smartphone growth

While the TV screen remains the favourite device to view video content — with over three quarters of respondents (77%, up 2 percentage points compared to last year) watching video content on a TV screen daily — use of smartphones has increased (69%, up 5 percentage points on 2022 figures).

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Figures for those using computers (45%), and tablets (35%) remain the same as last year.

Live TV is the predominant form of content watched (69%), a slight decrease compared to last year (-3 percentage points). Broadcast VOD platforms (+4 percentage points) and YouTube (+3 percentage points) have gained ground.

Viewing figures across SVOD platforms remain stable at 64% across all markets. This trend is also apparent in the UK, where 70% (-1 percentage point) of respondents watch SVOD on a weekly basis.

Streaming subs and the cost of living crises

Although Europeans continue to spend on streaming — 87% of respondents say they recently increased or maintained their video subscription budget — just over a third of households (35%) regularly change subscriptions based on the programmes they watch.

A similar figure of Europeans (33%) change subscriptions based on current offers and promotions.

UK viewers are the leading spenders on streaming in Europe (€56 Euros per month) and change their subscriptions even more frequently based on content (38%).

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Increasingly, the fragmented video landscape is becoming an issue amongst viewers in Europe, with an overwhelming majority (75%) saying they would like options to access all content, paid and free, from the same interface.

Over half of respondents (56%) sometimes feel overwhelmed by the amount of available content.

Considering the fragmented SVOD landscape and the current economic uncertainty, European consumers are becoming favourable to advertising-funded offerings.

More than half of the respondents across all 10 markets (56%) are not bothered by ads if these enable access to premium programmes for free.

Overall, compared to last year, respondents express more of a positive sentiment towards video advertising.

Jean-Baptiste Moggio, Head of Marketing at RTL AdConnect, part of RTL AdAlliance, said: “The surge in adoption rate of digital video offerings and the impact of digital ads on the big screen have created significant buzz within the advertising industry.

“Albeit moderate user numbers in advertising funded connected TV-environments, advertisers and agencies are keen to reach well defined audience segments.

He added: “The variety of accessible platforms is expanding options, but also the number of involved vendors, leading to a fractured market and a lack of clear measurement.

“The unique conditions of European TV and video markets require vendors to streamline and aggregate video offerings and advertisers to find localised approaches to video advertising that correspond with daily consumption habits.”

Video a favourite activity

The number of respondents who named watching videos among their three favourite home activities have risen since 2022 (all markets: 57%, up three percentage points, UK: 63%,also up three percentage points).

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It’s a sign that video continues to be the most important form of media for Europeans and the anticipated drop in video consumption post-lockdown has not materialised, just yet.

Television is an essential part of that. While it may sound counterintuitive, having a TV set at home is key for young Europeans, even more so than for other demographics.

Under 35-year-olds see their TV set as a decorative object that brings people together and which livens up the living room.

In the UK, the majority of respondents agree that TV brings members of the household together (81%) and makes the room livelier (83%).