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2014’s Most Notable Media Insights

by David Tice , 07.01.2015

It’s the end of the year and time to look back on the reports released through The Home Technology Monitor™, our syndicated series of reports on media ownership, usage, and attitudes. What were the most important – or at least most notable – insights which came out of 2014? In no particular order, here’s what I nominate:


  • TV sets have become the screen of choice for SVOD users. Our detailed comparison of SVOD services revealed that about half of users say they typically watch their SVOD service on a connected TV set – a higher proportion than any other screen. I have to admit, I still had the stereotype in my head of SVOD viewing being predominantly laptop or tablet – that’s so 2012! Source: How People Use® Media: Comparing Streaming Services 2014


  Netflix viewers Hulu Plus viewers Amazon Prime viewers
Typically watch streaming service on a connected TV set 52% 66% 47%


Digital Media Players

  1. Digital media players – such as Roku, Apple TV, or Chromecast – appear to be major contributors to cord-cutting and cord-slicing among their owners. Our exploration of digital media players revealed that about one in six say they had “cut the cord” because of their usage of such a device, and another one in eight say they had reduced their pay TV service (cord sliced). Is this an isolated effect among this small population, or a larger trend among all streaming users? Source: How People Use® Media: Digital Media Players 2014


  Roku users Apple TV users Chromecast users
Cord-cut or cord-slice because of digital media player use 37% 28% 29%


Live TV

  1. Live TV isn’t dead – it’s just moving down a little in preference. In two of our studies, on SVOD services and digital media players, we asked users of each to place each service or device in a “hierarchy of choice” – the order in which they considered content sources if they sat down to watch without anything in mind. Aside from the service or device in question, we also included live TV, DVR recordings, DVD/Blu-ray discs, and pay TV on-demand content. In each case, live TV was ranked the #1or #2 option for finding something to watch. Source: How People Use® Media: Digital Media Players 2014 and How People Use® Media: Comparing Streaming Services 2014


  Netflix viewers Hulu Plus viewers Amazon Prime viewers Roku users Apple TV users Chromecast users
Ranking of “live TV” in hierarchy #2 #1 #1 #2 #2 #1



  1. One of the fastest growing sources of TV or movie content for consumers since 2010 is not digital – it’s the Redbox rental kiosk. DVDs or Blu-ray discs aren’t dead – they are being rented instead of being purchased. Our tracking survey shows ever use of Redbox kiosks has increased from 30% of consumers in 2010 to 54% in 2014. Surprisingly, this is driven by younger consumers (18-34s, 63%) rather than older. Source: How People Use® Media: Over-the-Top TV 2014



  1. Access to the Internet through mobile data service fills an important gap in Internet access among certain populations. About one in six African-American online homes, and about one in four Hispanic online homes or online homes with incomes under $30,000, report that their only online access is through a mobile device with data service. Source: 2014 Ownership and Trend Report


  All HHs African-American HHs Hispanic HHs HHs w/income <$30k
Home Internet access 73% 61% 54% 48%
Mobile internet access only 9% 13% 17% 14%
Total internet access 82% 74% 71% 62%


And since we just passed the season of giving, here is a sixth top insight as a bonus...

  1. Almost half of Internet time is now mobile-based among younger adults. The share of their total internet time on an average day that is reported to be on a mobile device for Americans aged 13-24 has increased from 25 percent to 47 percent – in just two and a half years. Very soon young adults will have over half of their time on mobile devices, an evolution that will have impact on anyone delivering digital content or advertising. They aren’t the only ones – older adults are jumping on the mobile bandwagon and aren’t far behind. Source: MultiMedia Mentor™, Spring 2014 release.



What did YOU think was notable in media this past year from your research, or research you read about? Let us know in the comments section below!

David Tice is Senior Vice President on the Brand and Customer Experience team at GfK. He can be reached at david.tice@gfk.com.