TV networks have been shelling out big bucks to market their new fall TV lineup—and for good reason.
Even as the TV industry faces mounting pressure from consumers who are opting to “cut the cord” or watch programs on streaming services and mobile devices, new research from data and analytics company Annalect found that most consumers find out about new programs from television itself. And many people still make an effort to watch their favorite show on live TV.
According to the report from Omnicom Media Group’s Annalect, 55% of the TV viewers polled said they typically discover new shows from watching TV commercials. More than a third of respondents said TV channel surfing was another primary way they first find out about new programs.
“Television still prevails,” said Pam Marsh, director of Annalect’s primary research and insights group. “Television is high on the path to discovery and plays such an important role still in content consumption.”
Annalect’s data comes as the new fall TV season gets underway this week. Networks are holding their breath during the big fall premiere week to see which freshman series will strike a chord with viewers. The big broadcast networks will debut 44 new shows this season, and NBC’s “Blindspot,” CBS’s “Supergirl” and ABC’s “The Muppets” are among the shows that networks have high hopes for.
TV, of course, isn’t the only way that viewers find out about new content. According to Annalect, 34% of respondents said recommendations from friends and family are one of the top five ways they found out about a program. Only 12% said they discovered a new show because of online advertising.
Annalect surveyed 1,500 adults who spent more than five hours a week watching video content on any device.
Across the entire sample, 47% of viewers said live TV is their preferred method of watching programming. There are, however, significant generational differences. Among millennial viewers, 29% said they preferred live TV versus 50% who said they preferred streaming services. Among Gen X viewers, 45% said they preferred live TV and 34% favored streaming services.
The emergence of streaming and video-on-demand services has provided viewers with more ways to consume their favorite TV shows when and where they want. But that’s also meant an explosion in the number of programs out there for viewers to watch. Annalect’s study found that 71% of respondents are “overwhelmed” by the glut of TV options.
Netflix earlier this week also released data on when users fully commit to some of the streaming service’s most popular shows, providing further insight into viewers’ habits.
With the deluge of TV programming viewers have to choose from, Annalect found that 83% of viewers consider a program’s storyline to be the most important factor in choosing what to watch. More than half of the respondents said they can tell whether they’ll become a regular viewer of a show after watching just one episode.
And if viewers are hooked on a TV show, they’ll make the time to watch it live, Annalect’s data indicates. About 49% of respondents said they’ll try to be home in time to watch their favorite program, and the same percentage said they plan their program viewing ahead of time.
Write to Nathalie Tadena at firstname.lastname@example.org