••• television research

Watch TV on TV? How quaint!

Big jump in viewing on small(er) screens 

Signaling an accelerating shift in digital video consumer behavior, the percentage of consumers who prefer watching TV shows on television sets plummeted by 55 percent over the past year, from 52 percent to 23 percent, according to findings from the Accenture 2017 Digital Consumer Survey.

The global online survey of 26,000 consumers in 26 countries reveals that consumers increasingly prefer to watch TV shows on devices such as laptop and desktop personal computers and smartphones. More than four in 10 consumers (42 percent) said they would rather view TV shows on a laptop or desktop, up from 32 percent in last year’s survey. Thirteen percent said they prefer watching TV shows on their smartphones, compared with 10 percent last year. 

The decline in TV viewing over the past year tracks with a four-year trend. As recently as 2014, the survey revealed that nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of consumers preferred the TV set for viewing TV shows.

The most recent findings, summarized in a new Accenture report titled Winning Experiences in the New Video World, show that only one in five consumers (19 percent) now prefer to watch sports games on their TVs, down from 38 percent in the prior-year survey. 

“The dominance of the TV set as the undisputed go-to entertainment device is ending,” says Gavin Mann, global managing director for Accenture’s broadcast business. “While a great number of people still watch plenty of TV shows on TV sets, our research uncovers a rapid acceleration in their preference for viewing on other digital devices – especially laptops, desktops and smartphones.” 

The report reveals a particularly steep decline over the past year in the percentage of India’s consumers who prefer to view TV shows on TV sets. That percentage dropped 78 percent, from 47 percent to 10 percent. In the U.S., the number fell 57 percent (from 59 percent to 25 percent) and in the U.K. it dropped 55 percent (from 56 percent to 25 percent). 

“Driving this rapid shift in consumer preferences is the growing convenience, availability and quality of more personalized and compelling content on laptop and desktop personal computers and smartphones,” says Mann. “The massive and accelerating push by communications and media companies to provide ubiquitous content – TV everywhere including over-the-top – has empowered consumers to access high-quality content across multiple devices.” 

While consumers increasingly prefer to watch TV shows on laptops and desktops, the smartphone is becoming the preferred device for watching short video clips. More than one-third (41 percent) of consumers said they would rather view these clips on their mobile handsets, a substantial increase from 28 percent last year. In contrast, the number of consumers who said they would rather watch video clips on their laptops and desktops dropped slightly, from 47 percent to 44 percent over the last year, while the number who said they prefer to view these clips on their TV sets dropped even more, from 16 percent to only 5 percent.

The report makes several recommendations for how media companies should respond to the shift in consumers’ video consumption habits from TV sets to other devices. These include: identify new ways to engage consumers with more-personalized video content across more types of screens; use more granular consumer data, segments and predictive analytics to help anticipate consumer preferences and find content they desire; and focus more on their target audiences to identify exactly what content their viewers want to receive and when, for how long and on what type of screen. 

Between October and November 2016, Accenture conducted an online survey with approximately 26,000 consumers in 26 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the U.K. and the U.S. The sample in each country was representative of the online population. Ages of respondents ranged from 14 to 55 and over.

These findings are derived from a multiple-choice question answered by survey participants: “Which types of device (s) do you prefer to use when accessing different types of content?” The options included laptop and desktop personal computers; smartphones; tablets; TV screens; game consoles; “other” and “none.”

••• pet food research

Millennials driving market for healthier pet foods

Seeking natural, organic products

Between their growing numbers and affinity for natural pet products, the Millennial cohort wields significant buying power for the industry, according to research firm Packaged Facts in the report Millennials as Pet Market Consumers.

Millennial consumers – adults between ages 18 and 34 – are ready to coddle their pets using the most sustainable ways possible. The market for naturally-made organic pet products generates billions of dollars in the pet industry each year and chief among the drivers of this sustainably-minded trend are younger current and prospective pet owners.

The trend toward natural, organic products is nothing new in the U.S. pet product market, especially as product lines both big and small respond to a growing demand for more naturally-made, healthier-for-pets products. Traditionally Baby Boomers have dominated the pet market consumer landscape and set market trends. Specifically, those pet owners aged 40 to 54 spend the most on pets and related products but they spend less after reaching the age of 60. Because more and more Boomers have reached or are closing in on their 60th birthday, younger pet owners could set the pet market landscape on a new course.

More Millennial pet owners brought up in an increasingly health-conscious U.S. – and fewer Baby Boomers – means an upward trajectory for the natural, sustainably-made pet food trend. Packaged Facts’ National Online Consumer Survey data identify one in three of U.S. pet owners as Millennials, responsible for 43 percent of pet owner growth between 2007 and 2015. As Millennials get older and their budgets increase, spending on natural, organic pet food products will only continue to grow.

The report indicates the strength of Millennials’ impact on the pet product market and their inclination toward natural, organic products. Here are four of the report’s notable results:

More than half (55 percent) of Millennial pet owners are willing to try holistic and natural-branded nutritional supplements before resorting to conventional pet medication, as opposed to only 30 percent of owners 35 and over. But when the only option left is to buy conventional pet medication, more than half (52 percent) of Millennials buy meds, compared to only 28 percent of any other demographic. 

Nearly three-quarters (69 percent) of Millennial pet owners are more likely to consider foods whose recipes use naturally-made ingredients over standard, mass-produced foods, versus fewer than half (44 percent) of owners over 35. 

Three-quarters (75 percent) of Millennial dog owners agree that fear of pet food contamination or product safety is a key consideration in the foods they buy, compared to only 66 percent of their older counterparts. Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of Millennial cat owners compared to just 49 percent of other owners are likely to feel the same way.

Millennials are on the lookout for products whose labeling is transparent and green and are most likely to use pet foods with formulations geared toward enhancing the health of their pets, including pet foods characterized as organic, holistic, non-GMO and grain-free.

••• leisure research

Global study: Women more avid book readers than men

China leads in daily reading

A 17-country report released by researcher GfK shows that 30 percent of the international online population surveyed read books “every day or most days.” This is led by China at 36 percent, closely followed by Spain and the U.K. at 32 percent each. However, if the segment is widened to include both daily readers and those who read “at least once a week,” the international total rises to 59 percent, with China firmly in the lead (70 percent of its population), followed by Russia (59 percent) and Spain (57 percent).

High-income households read books more regularly than low-income households. Over a third (35 percent) of people in high-income households say they read books “every or most days,” compared to a quarter (24 percent) of those in low-income households. Added to this, one in 10 people in low-income households claim that they “never” read books – triple the percentage reported in high-income households (3 percent).

Overall, 32 percent of women report reading books every or most days, compared to 27 percent of men. This gender gap amongst the daily book readers is widest in the Netherlands (30 percent of women versus 14 percent of men) and Spain (40 percent of women versus 25 percent of men), followed by Canada (36 percent of women versus 23 percent of men) and Germany (31 percent of women versus 19 percent of men).

The Netherlands and South Korea have the highest percentage of their online population who report never reading books, standing at 16 percent each. In South Korea, this is fairly evenly divided between men and women, but in the Netherlands it is heavily led by men, with 23 percent never reading books, compared to just 9 percent of women. The countries with the next-highest proportion of those who never read books are Belgium (14 percent) and Canada, France and Japan (all 11 percent).

GfK conducted the online survey with over 22,000 consumers aged 15 or older across 17 countries in summer 2016.

••• ad research

I watch, therefore I trust

News, ‘how-to’ networks inspire strongest viewer trust

What is the value of a touchpoint if the source is not trusted? This question remains a key element – sometimes a missing piece – in any discussion about media-planning effectiveness and ROI. A Network Affinity study from researcher GfK MRI looked at viewer trust in and feelings of connection to over 150 TV networks and the ads they air. The research reveals that while trust in networks does not always translate into trust in advertising on those channels in some cases ad trust may actually eclipse network affinity.

Looking at six network categories (each consisting of multiple networks in that genre), the study shows that roughly half of viewers of news (49 percent) and “how-to” (48 percent) networks say they strongly trust those networks. In addition, 46 percent of news network viewers also say that those networks “reflect their personal values.”

When it comes to trust in advertising, viewers of Spanish-language networks express the strongest feelings, with nearly half (48 percent) saying they trust the ads on those networks. Kids and family (31 percent), news (31 percent) and “how-to” (30 percent) networks posted roughly the same scores for advertising trust, with sports following at 23 percent and broadcast networks at 18 percent.

Spanish-language networks also earned top scores from their viewers in both community (54 percent) and engagement (46 percent) with “how-to” and news networks following closely behind.

“Ad buyers are frustrated that they can’t get a true read on which networks earn the strongest viewer trust and the extent to which this trust impacts their ad messages,” says Lisa Tyler, VP of media and entertainment sales of GfK MRI. “Similarly, networks are concerned that buyers are not considering the relationship they have built with their viewers and buyers are making investment decisions based purely on behavioral data. This study reveals the relationships viewers have with each network and how levels of trust, community and relevancy change when you look past age and gender and into product users, buying styles and lifestyles.”

Across most of the categories, viewers who watch TV on digital devices and streaming services have higher levels of trust in advertising. Those who own Internet-connected devices over-index for trusting ads in five of the six network categories, especially sports and broadcast.

In addition, the study points to opportunities for targeting high-trust viewers who are spenders and/or influencers in key areas. Viewers with high levels of trust in kids and family networks and the ads on them also have higher average levels of spending on computers. And those who trust Spanish-language networks and the ads they show also have higher spending levels for computers than Broadcast network viewers. 

The findings come from GfK MRI’s annual Network Affinity research and are based on an online study of roughly 10,000 nationally representative respondents. Data has been fused to GfK MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer for full profiling.

••• leisure research

Young campers seek more active time outdoors

Hiking instead of fishing

An estimated 13 million U.S. households plan to camp more in 2017 than they did in 2016 and more than 1 million new households have started camping each year since 2014, according to the results of the 2017 North American Camping Report, an annual independent study supported by Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA).

Millennials are driving this growth as they take to the outdoors in greater numbers and they have no intention of letting up. Millennials now account for 38 percent of the 75 million active camper households in the U.S., up from 34 percent in 2016, and 51 percent say they plan to increase their camping this year.

Results of the survey indicate that these younger campers are using camping to add more balance to their lives. Their key reasons for camping include spending more time with friends and family, being physically active and improving their overall emotional well-being and health. 

Their attitudes about camping are reinforced by their behaviors and, with the influx of younger campers, this is changing the camping landscape overall. Camping is becoming a more social activity and outdoor recreation while camping is shifting to more physically active activities. In this year’s results, hiking outranked fishing as the most popular type of camping recreation for the first time since the first iteration of the North American Camping Report. Kayaking and mountain biking also saw significant increases. 

In an even more promising outlook for the future of camping and outdoor recreation in America, Generation Z teens (ages 13-17) are highly enthusiastic about camping and place a great deal of importance on people their age spending time outdoors. The findings for this group, which are new to the report this year, indicate that teens share their adult counterparts’ feelings about the benefits and emotional connections to camping. This suggests that as more families experience the outdoors, the more likely they are to continue those activities and consequently, this will result in continued increased overall incidence of camping nationally, particularly among families.

The influx of younger campers is changing the camping landscape overall, from who is camping to how people are experiencing the outdoors. In line with their strong enthusiasm for camping with family and friends, Millennials tend to camp in the largest groups. The average group size for Millennials is 10.7, compared to 8.5 for Gen Xers and 7.9 for Baby Boomers. 

Camping is becoming more of a family event, with 51 percent of campers reporting they have children in the household, up from 41 percent in 2014. Younger parents are the most likely to say children are enthusiastic about camping (53 percent of Millennial parents). 

Not only are these younger campers highly social but they also are more physically active and more likely to gravitate towards recreation such as mountain biking, hiking, running and adventure sports. As a result, more physically active types of recreation are increasing in popularity overall, with mountain biking (+6 percentage points), hiking/backpacking (+4 percentage points), canoeing/kayaking (+5 percentage points) and biking (+5 percentage points) and all gaining popularity since 2014. 

Younger campers are much more diverse, which is contributing to an increasingly multicultural camping landscape overall. Of the 1 million U.S. households that started camping in 2016, four in 10 were either Hispanic (13 percent of new campers, 16 percent of the population), African-American (12 percent of new campers, 12 percent of the population) or Asian-American (14 percent of new campers, 5 percent of the population). 

This is a continuing trend driven by younger campers, as a full 30 percent of non-white Millennial campers report that they’ve started camping in just the past few years, compared to 15 percent of white Millennials. 

There has been a large influx of Asian-American campers over the past couple of years and it doesn’t appear to be slowing. According to this year’s survey results, the proportion of new Asian-American campers is nearly triple what would be expected from overall population figures. This increase is most prevalent among younger Asian-American campers with 43 percent only having started camping in the past couple of years.

One-third of U.S. campers say that they now feel more welcome at national parks than they did several years ago. Large blocs of Hispanic (45 percent) and African-American (42 percent) campers say they feel more welcome when compared to the past. 

While most teens bring smartphones with them while camping, not surprisingly and like their adult counterparts, an overwhelming majority say they would still want to go camping if they could not stay in touch with others using their phones or computers. Nearly all U.S. campers bring some type of technology with them while camping but they are evenly split in their opinions regarding whether technology enhances or detracts from their camping experiences. This holds true even among Millennials, with 38 percent saying technology detracts from their camping experience and 36 percent saying it enhances it.

Among campers who say that access to technology allows them to camp more often, 57 percent state that technology also enhances their trips, suggesting that the ability to access technology improves the quality of the experience simply by allowing them to camp more often. 

The desire to visit state and national parks has increased over 2015 and three in 10 U.S. campers say the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary in 2016 got them to visit a park they would not have otherwise visited. Millennials were the most likely to claim this (40 percent). This suggests that a growing camper constituency will continue to place high demand on these lands. 

Methodology for the U.S. and Canadian household results: This survey was conducted in January 2017 by Cairn Consulting Group, an independent research firm. The sampling methodology targeted a randomly selected sample of U.S. and Canadian households. Sampling was designed to obtain n=2,426 completed survey among representative U.S. households and n=508 completed surveys among representative Canadian households. A sample of n=2,426 U.S. households is associated with a margin of error of +/- 1.99 percent. Among Canadian households, a sample of n=508 is associated with a margin of error of +/- 4.37 percent. 

Methodology for the teen survey results: The results are based on a total of 401 surveys completed among a random sample of U.S. households with children between the ages of 13 and 17. Each survey was completed with a teen respondent whose parents gave prior permission. A sample of n=401 teen campers is associated with a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent. 

All surveys were completed online via an outbound solicitation sent by Survey Sampling International to a randomly selected cross-section of U.S. and Canadian households. The sample of households from which the surveys were completed was statistically balanced to ensure that the results are in line with overall population figures for age, gender and ethnicity.