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Over-The-Top Video Goes Into Overtime

NEW YORK – Forty percent of U.S. TV households stream over-the-top (OTT) video to TVs, and the percentage shoots up if there are kids in the household or adults ages 18 to 34, a GfK survey found.

Streaming OTT video “is now the third most common online activity behind social networking and online shopping,” said GfK. As a result, video streaming “is now reported to be more prevalent than listening to music online, instant messaging, and Internet gaming.”

The survey found that only 34 percent of households with no kids stream video to their TV set, but that percentage jumps to 54 percent if kids are household members. The percentage jumps again to 58 percent if any household members are between ages 18 to 34.

As for how OTT content gets to a TV set, GfK found that 23 percent of TV households use an Internet-connected media player, while 18 percent use an Internet-connected video game console (VGS) console, 14 percent use an Internet-connected smart TV, and 8 percent use an Internet-connected Blu-ray player.

“The old stereotype of an OTT viewer hunched over a laptop or tablet is very much out of date,” said David Tice, senior VP of GfK’s media and entertainment practice. “Rapid adoption of smart TVs and digital media players over the past three years,” he added, “has pushed OTT to the biggest screens in the home, with attendant expectations from consumers that OTT quality should be as good as regular TV service, and as easy to use as mobile OTT options.”

In other findings (see infographic), GfK also discovered:

• One in three homes subscribe to and use a subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus.
• A total of 20 percent of TV households don’t pay for traditional TV services.
• Eight percent of TV households never paid for traditional TV service, and 12 percent once did but then cut the cord.