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How do consumers prefer to watch SVOD?

The subscription video on demand market has taken off in just the last few years, but there is already major competition for dominance. Netflix and Hulu may have been some of the first to arrive on the scene, but in no way does that mean they're the only ones capturing a fair share of the market.

However, complicating the conversation about SVOD and over-the-top streaming services is the role technology plays in influencing consumer behavior. With the arrival of devices like tablets and phablets, there's greater diversity facing consumers in how, when and where they consume streaming video, and how service providers leverage them for the greatest benefit.

Divisive devices

"Roughly half of all mobile data traffic will be composed of video by 2019."

How much difference does the viewing platform make for consumers of SVOD services? According to a recent article in Streaming Media Magazine online, which cites data from Ericsson, it's predicted that roughly half of all mobile data traffic will be composed of video by 2019. This is a 10 percent rise over the levels seen in 2013, but will this content be viewed primarily on Android or iOS devices? Currently, consumers in the U.S. tend to favor the former over the latter by roughly 12 percent.

In response to the popularity of tablets and phablets, some content providers have decided to create videos that are optimized for this technology. This may end up being too big of a step as viewing habits suggest that consumers are opting for a more familiar format for streaming content.

Over-the-top streaming technology overtakes tablets
Research posted by MarketingCharts, citing from a FreeWheel report, found that OTT streaming devices have recently moved past tablets as the more popular tool for watching video. Two of the big players mentioned in the article are Apple TV and Google's Chromecast, which essentially attach to a regular television and allow the user to stream online content.

This news should be a signal that consumers enjoy the freedom of watching video on the go, but there's nothing to suggest they're giving up the experience of viewing content on a larger screen. In fact, the report found that OTT streaming device users display very similar viewing patterns as TV watchers. The argument is supported by the fact that 91 percent of video ad views stem from long-form and live content, MarketingCharts wrote. On the other hand, just 54 percent of ad views occurred as consumers were watching the same time of content.

While content related to sports draws the greatest traffic, broadcast television programming has gained ground and increased the popularity of OTT streaming service use. The various SVOD service providers, such as Netflix, Amazon, HBO and Google, each have proprietary apps and services, meaning consumers have to choose which provider they want to access specific content. This competition will likely lead users to select the company that provides the video selection that's most attractive. Or consumers may subscribe to multiple SVOD organizations. But that remains to be seen. 

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