Linear, VOD Video Worlds Continue to Converge

Will be on equal footing by 2020 amid bigger moves to mobile screens, study finds

Why This Matters

The shift from linear TV to on-demand viewing on multiple platforms will continue to occur, per an Ericsson study.

Video consumption will be almost evenly split between linear and on-demand viewing by 2020, Ericsson predicts in a new study based on roughly 20,000 online interviews held in more than a dozen countries.

Another major trend is the ongoing migration of video viewing on mobile screens, with 50% of linear and VOD viewing expected to be on tablets, laptops and smartphones, with viewing on standalone DVRs anticipated to plummet in the coming years.

Despite the fragmentation of device viewing, time spent watching TV has reached a historic high of 30 hours per week, as the average of VOD services per user has climbed from 1.6 in 2010 to 3.8 in 2017, Ericsson ConsumerLab found.

Although the virtual reality market isn’t moving as rapidly as some had hoped, represented last week by Nokia’s decision to halt development on its Ozo VR cameras, Ericsson’s study sees one in three consumers becoming VR users by 2020.

Ericsson’s study also identifies six different TV user groups, based on TV and video-viewing habits. The TV Couch Traditionalists group (those aged 50-69) remains TV screen-centric, while another group of Screen Shifters tends to spread device viewing around.

The study also shined a light on how consumers expect their habits to change in the next five years. Some 30% said they expect to watch TV in a VR environment, 29% believe they’ll talk to devices like remotes rather than using buttons and 27% said they expect to get their news from social media outlets.