A new study conducted by independent market research company Trendbox, on behalf of Universal Electronics Inc., reveals the latest daily TV watching habits of viewers across three European countries, including the way audiences control their TVs.
The research, involving 1812 participants in the UK, France and Germany, points to the continued shift away from traditional TV viewing, as almost half of consumers now have their main TVs connected to the internet and 75% have a range of other devices plugged into the television, with DVD players (46%), games consoles (30%) and computers or laptops (22%), being the most commonly used.
Approximately a third of those surveyed use OTT services, with YouTube (overall 42%) coming top as the leading pan-European provider of OTT services. The most frequently used devices to tune in to these services are smart TVs (29%) and games consoles (22%).
What we are seeing is a huge shift in viewing behaviours, brought about by the sheer choice of content and available devices that viewers have. For broadcasters manufacturers, the challenge then becomes to meet audiences needs while ensuring their business models are viable. Ultimately, it comes down to simplifying the user experience, says Menno Koopmans, senior VP subscription broadcasting, Universal Electronics.
Another objective of the study was to look at how audiences control their TVs. The average number of TVs was two per home, and together with the multitude of other systems, the average number of remotes in each household was 3.3. The overwhelming response from viewers was the need to have a control device that is easy to use (80%) and easy to set up to access their content.
Almost a quarter of those surveyed had tried a universal remote (23%) in a bid to cut down on the number of zappers and simplify their control. However, the respondents who have used a universal remote only controlled two devices with it, and just over half (54%) said it was better than the original. The results give a clear indication that consumers need a single, user-friendly remote control capable of interacting with their chosen viewing device.
When it comes to general use of the remote control, the basic buttons are still the most commonly used with volume control ranked highest (74%), followed by the on/off button (64%) and channel navigation buttons (63%).
Menno Koopmans, senior VP subscription broadcasting, Universal Electronics says: We undertook the research to understand the viewing behavior of adults in Europe, as well as the ways in which they use their remote controls. The findings clearly show that with todays audiences it is all about the customer experience whether that is watching content in different ways or having a single remote control that meets their specific viewing needs.
Consumers of content want their remote to work universally, yet it has to be easy to use, and easy to set up. Historically, remotes have been complex and difficult to use. And as we add more features and functionality, like voice, motion and touch control, the customer experience becomes ever more important. The solution is one remote that works for all.