Television programmes are viewed more often also on other devices than on conventional TV sets

Published 17.12.2014

The use of smartphones and tablets for viewing television has become more common during 2014. Despite of this, the conventional TV set is still clearly the most used device for viewing television. The data are based on a survey on television in Finnish homes (Tv-taloudet Suomessa), carried out by Finnpanel in August 2014.

98 per cent of Finnish households watch television programmes. The most common way of viewing TV programmes is still on conventional TV sets which are used by 95 per cent of all households. Excluding conventional TV receivers, the most common device used for viewing TV programmes is a computer. In particular, the use of tablets and smartphones for watching TV is increasing. Already as many as one third of the households watch TV programmes via a tablet or smartphone. 8.4 per cent of the households watch TV broadcasts mainly via a computer, smartphone or tablet.

Although the use of other devices for viewing TV programmes has increased in recent years, the conventional TV has retained its position at the same time. Thus, TV programmes are nowadays watched in manners that are more diverse than before, and the breakthrough of new devices has not replaced conventional TV receivers.

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Figure 1: Devices used for viewing television programmes

HD devices have become more common

TV receivers containing an HD tuner have become more common. In February 2014, 28 per cent of the households had a television set or set-top box equipped with an HD tuner. In August 2014, the corresponding figure was 32 per cent. Also, an increasing number of households (approximately 220,000 households) subscribe to HD channels subject to a fee. All in all, around 750,000 households subscribe to these channels.

Internet television and Video-on-Demand services increase in the popularity
The popularity of watching internet television has steadily increased in recent years. In August 2014, already as much as two thirds of the households watched internet television. In addition to the content of the conventional TV that is watched in the internet, internet television also means, for example, videos that are watched via different services, such as Youtube and Vimeo.

The most popular way of viewing internet television is via TV operators' websites (e.g., Yle Areena). In August 2014, nearly half of the households watched internet television via the above-mentioned services. In addition to TV operators' own websites, the Netflix service has grown during 2014. The service is already used by 17 per cent of the households.

The most common way of viewing internet television is via a computer (60%), but also smartphones and tablets, as a result of becoming more common, have gained popularity also as devices for watching internet television. In August 2014, all in all nearly half of the households watched internet television via tablets or smartphones.

Number of IPTV subscriptions is increasing

According to Finnpanel's survey, almost 50 per cent of the households receive TV broadcasts via terrestrial television networks. Also, the share of cable television networks is almost equal. A few per cent of the households use their own dish antennas, the housing company's joint satellite antenna, or some other connection. Some households use several reception methods.

According to the market data collected by FICORA, there were nearly 1.5 million cable television subscriptions and 350,000 IPTV subscriptions in Finland in June 2014. The number of IPTV subscriptions has steadily increased in recent years. The number of these subscriptions has nearly doubled since 2011. Nearly all of these subscriptions are used by residential customers. The number of IPTV subscriptions contains the services that are provided via fixed-line broadband subscriptions. These services transmit the programme content of the conventional TV. Therefore, the TV services that are provided via mobile networks for example to mobile phones and tablet computers are not included in the shares.

On the basis of the data collected from telecommunications operators, more than 13 per cent of the households have an IPTV subscription. According to Finnpanel's survey, the share is a few percentage points lower. IPTV services are often sold as part of subscription packages. This means that subscribers do not necessarily always think that they have acquired an IPTV subscription.

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Figure 2: The number of broadband connections by speed (also including the subscriptions of business customers) and the number of IPTV subscriptions 2011–2014.

At the same time as the number of IPTV subscriptions has increased, the number of high-speed broadband subscriptions has also increased. Thereby, the take-up rate of IPTV subscriptions has also been able to promote the increase of the number of broadband connections because faster subscriptions enable that services can be used in a more versatile manner and, above all, that the picture quality is better. For example a 100 Mbps or faster broadband connection enables that several HD channels can be received simultaneously. The number of these broadband connections, where the connection speed is at least 100 Mbps, has nearly quadrupled since 2011. When more and more households have a high-speed broadband connection, there is a rather great amount of growth potential for IPTV connections.

Key words: Television , Subscription , Statistics , Surveys

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