New Accenture Survey Reveals 55 Percent Drop in Consumers Who Prefer to Watch TV Shows on TV Sets

Laptops and desktops overtake TVs as preferred devices for watching TV

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Signaling an accelerating shift in the digital video market 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
(NYSE:ACN) 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,” said 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 United States, the number fell 57 percent (from 59 percent to 25
percent), and the U.K. it dropped 55 percent (from 56 percent to 25

“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,” Mann added. “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. In the most-recent survey, 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:

  • identifying new ways to engage consumers with more-personalized video
    content across more types of screens;
  • using more granular consumer data, segments and predictive analytics
    to help anticipate consumer preferences and find content they desire;
  • focusing 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 United Kingdom and the United States. The sample in each
country was representative of the online population. Ages of respondents
ranged from 14-to-55 and over. The survey and related data modelling
quantify consumer perceptions of digital devices, content and services,
purchasing patterns, preference and trust in service providers, and the
future of their connected lifestyles.

About Accenture

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a
broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital,
technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and
specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business
functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network –
Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help
clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their
stakeholders. With approximately 401,000 people serving clients in more
than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the
world works and lives. Visit us at

*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.’


Charles Hartley, 973-590-9920
of Nine
Anthony Suarez, 212-614-4331