According to the “Connected Devices and Media Consumption” survey from IHS Markit, TV content discovery is at the heart of the battle among TV and video providers to convince consumers that their user experience is both easy to use and truly personalized. Even with smart digital assistants now integrated into TVs, successful personalization will come down to the ability to really know their customers and help them find what they want to watch.
Despite the latest developments from the likes of Netflix and Amazon, just 7 percent of all respondents across five markets surveyed – the US, UK, Japan, Brazil and Germany – rely primarily on content recommendations by their TV or video providers via the user interface.
IHS Markit’s analysis reveals that individuals who engaged less frequently with newer content discovery methods were more likely to rate video services poorly on overall user experience. For example, among respondents who rated the user experience at least one video service as “very poor,” 18 percent still prefer to find content by clicking through channels. Just 12 percent of those who rated a user experience as “very good” use the same method. This finding highlights the importance of encouraging users to engage with other, newer forms of content discovery on video platforms, in order to improve overall satisfaction with the user experience.
When monthly users rated a video service highly for content discovery, they also similarly rated the overall user experience. Some video services are better than others in this area. Just 25 percent of monthly users of network-provider TVE services in the United States – FOX, ABC and NBC – rate these services as “very good” for finding content they want to watch. One-quarter of this group also rated its overall user experience as “very good.” In comparison, 52 percent of Netflix users rated the service “very good” for finding content they want to watch and 55 percent also rated their user experience “very good.” Not only does this finding highlight the value of the Netflix content recommendation feature, but it also underscores the connection between content discovery and an easy-to-navigate user experience.
Video providers trying to match Netflix on content discovery must also contend with big discrepancies among various consumer age groups. Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of consumers age 17 to 34 prefer to discover content using their search functionality provided by their video services; however, this number falls to just 10 percent for consumers age 55 and older, 49 percent of whom preferred using a TV guide.
Recommendations from friends and social media is another area content providers need to understand better and learn to leverage competitive differences for greater success. As a preferred source of content discovery, these types of recommendations fell from a peak of 10 percent in 17- to 24- year-olds to a low of 3 percent among consumers age 65 and older. This finding reveals that targeting key groups in the lower age range can potentially help proliferate knowledge of content availability.
National preference is another layer of subtle differences when it comes to content discovery – and one that should be taken into account by global players. For example, 60 percent of German respondents use a TV guide (including physical and digital formats) as their main method to discover content, a preference shared by just 16 percent of Brazilians. The top choice of Brazilians, on the other hand, is using search functionality provided by video services.
For video providers, the complexity surrounding content discovery is matched only by its potential reward. There is a plethora of content being produced; the key now is to match it to the right audience.