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Shows on the go: By 2020 TV as we know it may not exist

Supported by eight years of extensive media insights, Ericsson ConsumerLab predicts that the growth of on-demand viewing will continue to soar through to 2020, making up almost half of total viewing. 

50% of all TV and video viewing will take place on mobile screens like tablets, smartphones and laptops, an increase of 85% since 2010, with the smartphone alone accounting for almost one quarter. 

Additionally, VR will be on the road to becoming mainstream, with 1 in 3 consumers becoming VR users by 2020.

Anders Erlandsson, Ericsson ConsumerLab senior advisor says, “We can see that consumers are not only watching more video but also changing how and when they do so. 

“This is also shown through the continued growth of mobile viewing, which has been a booming trend since 2010.”

“This year also marks the first time that we have explored the level of consumer interest in VR in conjunction with media consumption, and the findings have been fascinating.”

VR has the potential to bring together people from all over the world and create deeper, more personalised, and more complementary media experiences.

Time spent watching TV and video content has reached an all-time high of 30 hours a week, including active viewing of scheduled linear TV, live and on-demand internet services, downloaded and recorded content, as well as DVD and Blu-ray. 

However, close to 60% of viewers now prefer on-demand viewing over scheduled linear TV viewing, an increase of around 50% since 2010.

Two in five consumers already pay for on-demand TV and video services today and nearly a third say they will increase their on-demand spending in the next 6-12 months. 

Portability is also becoming an increasingly important factor, with more than a third of consumers wanting access to content when abroad.

The findings also show that while consumers have more access to TV and video services than ever before, the average time spent on searching for content has increased to almost one hour per day, an increase of 13% since last year. 

In fact, one in eight consumers believes that they will get lost in the vast amount of available content in the future.

With the user experience becoming ever more fragmented, six in 10 consumers now rank content discovery as “very important” when subscribing to a new service, while 70% want ‘universal search for all TV and video’.

The social and immersive quality of VR technology is helping to add a new and valuable dimension to the viewing experience. 

With a third of consumers projected to be VR users by 2020, the technology is expected to play an essential role in the future of TV and video.

However, if consumer interest in VR is to increase, several things will need to change. 

Close to 55% of consumers planning to get VR devices would prefer it if the headsets were cheaper, and almost half think there should be more immersive content available.

It's a strange thought nonetheless, gone are the VHS and DVD players I grew up with, I only switch on my TV to game and almost all of the shows I watch, I stream.

Times are a changing, here’s hoping for the better.

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