Viewers still love TV, they use it to de-stress, and they have more of it available than ever.

But the plethora of viewing options threatens to make audiences’ lives more complex, not less.

That is according to research commissioned by Viacom. The owner of MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and Channel 5 recently published Today’s TV, an insight report in which it surveyed 10,000 people in 10 countries and conducted interviews plus video monitoring. Amongst the findings:

  • 69% of people surveyed feel that TV is a part of their daily lives.
  • 62% described “TV” as “TV shows and movies” – they put the content and form about the kind of device they use.
  • People use TV to reduce stress, but the amount of content available to viewers is now overwhelming.

But the responses revealed a growing feeling that abundant viewing options may also work against the de-stressing motivation:

  • “Viewers yearn for simplicity, with 80% saying they wish they were able to access all their TV content through one service and 77% wishing it were easier to find the TV shows and movies they love.”
  • So. viewers are also defaulting to content they know. “They want TV to be easy, not another set of decisions to make. For some, this means watching something they’ve seen before. Others turn to linear TV as a way of simplifying their choices.”

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Viacom’s SVP for global consumer insights Christian Kurz explains the joy of TV revealed in Today’s TV.

For him, it comes down to thee behaviors:

  1. “It’s me-time, it is indulging. It allows me to just have a little bit of ‘myself’ stuff.”
  2. “It brings people together. It gives you something to talk about. What else are you going to talk about, but what you just watched?”
  3. “It just makes the world a smaller place. It allows you to explore and experience all that is out there from your arm chair or your sofa or your living room. And it truly is appreciated by people about how it’s a learning experience.”

“When (viewers) talk about their favourite shows, the way their faces light up, the true energy is just amazing when it comes through,” Kurz says.

“We have a really special place in people’s hearts and we just need to live up to that.”

This video was produced in London at the Future of TV Ads Global forum in December 2019.   This series is sponsored by Finecast, the global addressable TV company that is part of WPP.   For more videos from the series, please visit this page.