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Gold Coasts: Streaming Services Are Making a Local Impact from the Outside In
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Gold Coasts: Streaming Services Are Making a Local Impact from the Outside In

It’s easy to paint the U.S. media consumer with a broad brush. We know they enjoy hours of video content each day, but all the while more entertainment choices are seeping in—over the top, under the bottom and, really, from either side.

While traditional TV still holds the lion’s share of viewing, Nielsen’s most recent Local Watch Report—which looks at media consumption and penetration in the Local People Metered markets—found that 16% of U.S. homes now have a smart TV, 51% have a tablet and 78% of the general population has a smartphone. Among Hispanic and African-American consumers, smartphone penetration is even higher at 82% and 83%, respectively.

Talk about options!

Of course no conversation surrounding consumer choice is complete without speaking of subscription-based video on demand (SVOD) services, such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. While consumers in the Baltimore and Minneapolis designated market areas (DMAs) spend the most time with over-the-top streaming at an average of 14 minutes per day, eight of the top 10 markets for SVOD penetration are either on the East or West Coasts, with San Francisco leading the way. In fact, SVOD penetration in the San Francisco DMA is at 52%—10% higher than the national average.

It’s no surprise, then, that the Local Watch Report found the Golden Gate market was at the top of the DMA ranks when it came to mobile video viewing (33%) and among the top in smart TV penetration (21%). After all, watching mobile video and connecting online through a smart TV are two ways consumers can access SVOD content at their leisure.

Technology penetration and viewer fragmentation do not affect all markets uniformly. In fact, the report found that inland DMAs still have more o f a taste for traditional television viewing. Take Pittsburgh, for example, which had the highest amount of live TV viewing per day at an average of more than five hours. That same DMA ranked at the bottom in smart TV penetration (10%), SVOD access (33%) and mobile video use (23%).

Knowing the regional appetites consumers have to connect with content is crucial for both local and national marketers who seek to reach the best consumer no matter the device or delivery system.