SPB TV Survey 2016

As one of the world’s leading providers of end-to-end OTT TV solutions, SPB TV digs for insights that elucidate viewer preferences. Every year we conduct an online survey among the end-users of our OTT TV and video services investigating opinions and expectations. These findings are the differentiators that can solve TV operator and telco challenges in today’s OTT TV landscape.


In 2016, SPB TV surveyed a sample of 50,000 respondents out of its 60 million-user base. The survey was conducted using OTT TV, OTT video and mobile TV services that SPB TV provides independently or in collaboration with its partners. The questionnaire was made available for the end-users of SPB TV’s projects through web-based and mobile interfaces.

The survey was conducted in six languages: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and German, and mainly targeted emerging markets and migrant communities worldwide. The majority of respondents were based in Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Brazil, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, and the United States.


Content Anytime – Not a Feature, But a Habit

The most striking finding of this year is the “TV catch-up” feature. It jumped 8 points up from number 10, as the now second most-demanded feature cited by 42% of respondents.

45% of respondents would subscribe to a service for having access to catch-up content. It is a 19% increase since 2015.

Today, the possibility of integrating TV viewing in the viewer’s schedule instead of building a schedule around the TV timetable is, the primary principle of OTT TV.

Personal TV and Recommendations – Countless Opportunities for Engagement

Personal profile - a feature allowing OTT TV users to create their own content collections, access their viewing history, indicate their name and avatar, and much more – is demanded by more than a half of SPB TV respondents regardless of their age.

47% of SPB TV respondents are certain they want to have their profiles available on shared in-home devices, like Smart TV s and set-top boxes.

The most highly valued personal profile features are the ability to control your own content lists (65% of respondents) and personalized content recommendations (50%).

47% of respondents find content recommendations very helpful for discovering new exciting content and choosing what to watch at the moment. 33% of respondents look forward to the improvement in the relevance of recommendations.

A hybrid recommender system combining content similarity with collaborative filtering algorithms and real-time adjustments support can become the most effective solution to content recommendation challenge.

TV on the Go

The smartphone penetration rate among the OTT TV viewers reaches 80%.

Smartphones are primary connected devices of choice for video viewing. Their leadership status is highest among the Generation Z respondents (72% of respondents) followed by the Millennials (69%).

Mobile viewing is mainly driven by short videos with 61% of respondents watching YouTube and similar videos every day on their smartphones, and 58% – on their tablets. However, smartphones are also second-best for linear TV viewing – after TV-sets.

Linear TV Channels

Watching TV remains a favorite family entertainment for many decades. Younger families of 24 to 35 years old initially discover TV content in a new OTT format.

TV channels are still most often watched through TV-sets with PCs and smartphones hot on their heels.

The availability of TV channels over OTT is very different across the screens. Most of connected TV users enjoy over 100 TV channels, while mobile TV usually offers less than 20.

Set-top Boxes

Set-top boxes are more often provided by TV operators (44%) rather than chosen by the end-users.

As for the independently purchased devices, Android TV shows a radiant success (25% of all set-top box users) while Google Chromecast loses ground (13%). Apple TV displays stability with one fifth of all connected TV users being its customers.

The users of set-top boxes and other TV-enabling devices are more inclined to upgrading their equipment on a regular basis than Smart TV users displaying a long-term satisfaction with their home TV equipment.

The Perfect TV Formula

A perfect home TV bundle should offer different types of media: movies, series, TV channels, as well as music, new and articles.

Female respondents would appreciate integration of their home media system with their personal notes and reminders (19%) and health & fitness tracking system (17%).

Interactivity is a powerful tool for enriching the user experience and improving the commercial opportunities of the service. OTT TV users are interested in such opportunities like accessing additional information about what they watch (36%), taking part in contests and quizzes (25%), and influencing what will happen in the upcoming episodes (19%).

One third of all respondents believe that targeting parameters help to increase the relevance of the OTT TV advertisements. 24% trust in the efficiency of programmatic algorithms selecting the ads depending on the viewers’ behavior and interests.