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Desire to stream influences tech purchases: Study

Nielsen-funded research group says web connectivity is the most important for consumers looking to buy new TV devices.
August 12, 2014

It all comes down to connection and content.

The Council for Research Excellence (CRE) suggests that the desire to stream is the most important factor influencing consumer decisions when they’re buying TV devices.

In a pair of recent studies conducted by CRE, an independent research group created and funded by Nielsen and representing advertisers, media-buying firms, and publishers, Smart TVs (sets that connect to the web to access apps for Netlix and Hulu plus, for example) were selected as the most popular by participants in the GfK-conducted surveys, followed by OTT streaming devices such as Roku, Google Chromecast or Playstation TV (pictured).

Researchers say consumers also favored devices that enabled them to time-shift or binge-watch, or casting content from one device to another. And all 50 households sought ways to stream content, regardless of demographic or technographic differences.

Some of the initial observations drawn from the longitudinal study, released last week:

  • Family and friends, especially children, act as agents of change, helping to determine which technology to purchase and which content is consumed. “Kids, in many ways, are the gatekeepers due to their ability to grasp and advocate new viewing technologies,” said Byron Schafer, chair of CRE’s Digital Research Committee and SVP, Warner Bros. Media Research & Insights, in a release.
  • Consumers have moved from a single-source, single-device model to multi-source, multi-device.
  • When, where and how content is consumed is determined by negotiation between household family members, although dad typically is in charge of the remote. “The programming grid is continuing to diminish in importance as consumers adopt technologies that allow them to design their ideal viewing time and place,” added Laura Cowan, director, analytics and insight at MEC.

Fifty Chicago-area households were polled over 15 weeks between Nov. 13 and April 2014 for the acceleration ethnography, with online and in-store purchases monitored via self-reporting, behavior, usage surveys and follow-up questions.

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