In another sign that America’s traditional TV viewing patterns are changing in the over-the-top (OTT) age, a recent consumer study reported in a blog on the ItsWorthMore web site, said that most viewers today don’t mind waiting for a favorite television show to come to a streaming platform before they watch it.

But what they really do mind, the study found, is waiting week to week for the next episode to appear. The trend is more bad news for linear TV broadcasters and multi-channel TV service providers that are watching their constituencies dwindle as viewers become spoiled by the flexibility and convenience offered online.

According to the IWM study of 979 respondents, 53% said don’t mind waiting to watch new seasons of favorite television shows to come to streaming platforms, because 67.4% said they wanted to be able to binge-watch the entire season, while another 67.4% said they wanted to avoid commercial breaks.

Other popular benefits included the ability to watch a show at any time, the ability to pause the show and the generally cheaper cost to stream a program than pay for a service subscription.

“Grey’s Anatomy” and “The Walking Dead” were listed among the top shows surveyed viewers said they would wait to watch when they become available to stream.

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Meanwhile, viewers who said they have started to watch a show on conventional TV, 42% said they have switched to watching it on a streaming platform, while 32% said they watch shows exclusively on streaming platforms. The most popular streaming platform cited was Hulu.

The increased interest in streaming, ItsWorthMore indicated, was in part due to improvements in quality of video viewed on phones, tablets and computers.

Further, the blog stated that, “streaming’s appeal amounts to more than the ability to binge: In the eyes of many, streaming platforms offer superior content. If network and cable channels aim to remain relevant, they must do more than move their content online. Indeed, they must create shows worthy of devoted audiences – and compelling enough to stand out in a saturated media environment.”

ItsWorthMore pointed out that the growing interest in viewing TV series online could significantly impact TV advertising rates with traditional broadcast networks potentially at risk of losing more than $19 million per season in ad revenue due to declining real-time viewership.

By Greg Tarr

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