Content must be accessible not only by television, but also devices. This was a key finding from TV S.M.A.R.T., a new research project by Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) that shows how and why TV viewing is changing around the world, and how advancements in distribution are changing the ways viewers consume and engage with content.

Not long ago, the thought of having “TV content at our fingertips” might have conjured images of changing channels on a remote control or even turning a dial. Our selections were limited to whatever was airing at that time.

Now, “content at our fingertips” still often does involve a remote control and scheduled programming—but it could also mean a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Unlike in the past, the available selections are nearly unlimited. With more access to content, there is not only more to watch but more opportunities to tune in.

The project’s main findings were that audiences still love TV and TV content, viewers use a “hierarchy of screens” to choose the devices they view on, and that in order to be successful, TV today must be S.M.A.R.T. (Social, Mobile, Accessible, Relevant, and Tailored).

We’re covering all of those elements in our series of posts on TV S.M.A.R.T.  Here, we’re focusing on “A” for Accessible:

Young viewers want content to be available whenever they want it.

  • The 14-to-24 age group is most likely to expect flexibility in the way content is delivered
  • 90% in Europe use VOD at least once a month—and 80% use it at least once a week

Having access to time-shifted viewing doesn’t compete with linear TV viewing—it actually supports it.

  • In our deep dive of European consumers, 74% watch linear TV every day—but among those with TVs that connect to the internet, an even greater proportion (81%) engages in daily linear TV viewing
  • More access means more TV viewing overall—those with “connected” TVs don’t just watch more linear TV, they also watch more time-shifted TV (VOD and recorded/downloaded shows)

Viacom works with a number of partners to deliver valuable content to audiences in multiple ways.

  • We evaluate our partners very carefully, and these partnerships can take a number of forms—and we are focused on delivering our content to viewers in a S.M.A.R.T. way