BB Media: Regions Differ in Preference for Small or Large Screens for Online Video

Regions differ in residents’ preference for small (mobile phone) or large (smart TV) screens, according to a study from BB Media external media analyst Victoria Bestard.

Victoria Bestard

In the United States and Canada (UCAN), 71% prefer smart TVs, while 49% use smartphones. Something similar happens in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), where smart TVs are the most popular choice in 60% of households, with 46% using smartphones.

This trend reverses in Asia and the Pacific (APAC), where smartphones are the most used devices for viewing online content. In fact, 79% of households prefer smartphones, surpassing its direct competitor, the smart TV, by a margin of 25%.

In APAC, there are three countries where smartphones are the most used devices: India, chosen by 88% of households, Indonesia, and China, with 86% and 78%, respectively.

Similarly, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkey share this trend, as over 60% of households use smartphones.

“It’s no coincidence that some platforms have implemented mobile plans to offer users the opportunity to reduce costs,” Bestard notes. “In fact, in the Africa region, there are 90 plans, and in Asia, there are 28.”

Netflix is one of the platforms that adopted this type of plan. In South Africa, the mobile plan costs $5.70 (U.S.) 65% less than the standard plan. In Indonesia, the difference is $6.11 (U.S.) or 62% less than the standard plan. In India, the “Mobile” plan is priced at $1.97 (U.S.) or 70% less than the standard plan.

Other streaming services have also expanded their offerings and integrated mobile plans in the mentioned countries, such as Showmax, Zee5, Vidio, and Sony Liv, among others. In India, Amazon Prime Video introduced an annual plan for $7.30 (U.S.), which amounts to 61 cents per month. In Saudi Arabia, Starzplay charges $3.99 (U.S.) for this type of plan.

An interesting analysis arises when crossing smartphone preference and the proliferation of plans designed for single users with the socioeconomic characteristics of countries where this form of consumption predominates, Bestard found. For 2023, one common factor is the very low monthly minimum wages in dollars. In South Africa, it reaches USD $248 (U.S.), while in Indonesia, it’s $184 (U.S.). On the other hand, in India, it doesn’t exceed $60 (U.S.) per month. Additionally, these are countries with a high level of social inequality.

Following this line of reasoning, Latin America could be fertile ground for the expansion of mobile plans and the use of OTTs through smartphones, noted Bestard. Economically speaking, it presents similar characteristics: minimum wages range from $8 (U.S.) per month in Venezuela to $540 (U.S.) in the case of Uruguay.

HBO MAX saw this opportunity and introduced its mobile plan in Uruguay, Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina in June 2021, which was later expanded to the rest of the Latin American countries, she noted. However, it was gradually phased out and became inactive in January 2023.

This change can be explained by the fact that, regionally, smartphone usage for viewing content (50%) isn’t far from Smart TV usage (47%), Bestard surmises, noting the difference between Latin American, Asian, and African countries might be based on cultural habits. BB Media’s data reveals that in LATAM, 48% of online content consumers engage in the activity alone, while the remaining 52% do so with their partners, friends, or family. In some countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru, this ratio is closer to 40% of individuals viewing content alone and 60% watching content with someone else.

“With that perspective, it’s understandable that mobile plans might not be as popular in places where the activity is considered a shared moment,” Bestard noted.

“It seems that individualism prevails in Asian and African cultures when it comes to consuming entertainment,” she added.

Survey: 22% of U.S. Adults Share TV/Movie Streaming Service Expenses With Parents

New data shows a little over one-fifth (22%) of U.S. adults over 18 still share TV/movie streaming service expenses with their parents.

A third (34%) share their parents’ cell phone plan, with more than half (53%) of younger adults ages 18-44 doing so, according to a WhistleOut survey of more than 1,000 adults over 18.

These adults aren’t all free-loaders. In fact, data shows the majority of them (72%) are helping to pay at least in part for the monthly phone bill, and are financially independent of their parents for a majority of their expenses (73%).

Overall, around 54% of adults over 18 in the survey still share common tech expenses with their parents, including phone plans (30%), home internet/WiFi (28%), cable TV (18%), streaming devices (17%), smart home devices (11%) and gaming subscriptions (10%).

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About a third (30%) of Americans think it’s reasonable for adults to stay on their parents’ phone plan as long as their parents will let them, while 22% say it’s only reasonable as long as adults still live with their parents. Still, 21% say adults should get their own cell phone plans as soon as they become adults.

Amazon Bows $1.20 Mobile Video Streaming Plan in India

With 1.33 billion people, India is the second-largest country in the world by population after China. Amazon Jan. 13 launched a new $1.20 monthly mobile-only video streaming plan targeting the country’s 1.1 billion cellphone users.

The service is through a partnership with wireless carrier Bharti Airtel, offering prepaid subs video streaming for 89 rupees ($1.20) a month after a 30-day free trial. The offer also includes 6 gigabytes of data. Airtel has about 300 million subscribers.

“We want to democratize the access to content and through this unique offering reach hundreds of millions of users,” Gaurav Gandhi, director and India head for Amazon Prime Video, told Bloomberg.

Gandhi said that about 85% of Internet access in India is done through mobile devices with 90% of all mobile subs using prepaid plans. Netflix India currently offers a mobile-only plan for 199 rupees ($2.72) while Disney+Hotstar offers basic service for 99 rupees ($1.35).

India’s streaming video market is projected to reach $4.5 billion through 2025, according to research firm Media Asia Partners, which added that local original streaming content approached $700 million in 2020.

Amazon, which reportedly is looking to bid for Italian Serie A professional soccer, is also eyeing Indian Premier League cricket, which Disney Hotstar holds the carriage rights to through 2023.

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