The TV consumption habits in Romania in 2019 didn’t change that much in the last years, even so, the TV providers had to make changes in their marketing strategies to please the costumers.
Romanians are used to watch the classic television format – linear TV – more than online video, and 36 percent would change their TV service provider for a better offer of HD and Ultra HD channels, the latest study on TV consumption habits shows and video.
According to the study “Index of television consumption in Romania 2019” carried out by SES, the time spent by Romanians every day in front of the television remains high. On average, in 2019, Romanians watch 3.3 hours of TV during the week (Monday-Friday) and 3.7 hours during the weekend.
Young people (18-34 years old) spend less one hour in front of the television than the elderly (+55) – 2.9 hours vs. 3.9 hours, on average, during the week.
Trends in TV consumption in Romania in 2019
Linear TV shows continue to be the most watched. According to the study, two thirds of respondents say they watch video content online or on the Internet, on average, 2.3 hours every day of the week and 2.5 hours on weekends – 1.2 hours less than TV.
Video streaming services are becoming popular. Almost half of Romanians (45 percent) have, in 2019, a subscription to a video streaming platform, compared to 7 percent in 2016.
The most popular streaming video services are:
- Netflix (22 percent of the respondents have a subscription)
- HBO GO (15 percent).
Linear television is now available anytime, anywhere, due to the growing popularity of online platforms offered by TV operators. The live streaming platforms of the TV programs can be watched on mobile devices or through mobile applications and are included, most of the times, for free in the TV and/or internet offer. 28 percent of Romanians have a subscription to such a platform.
The most popular are:
- Digi Online (13 percent),
- Telekom TV (11 percent),
- Orange TV GO (8 percent)
- Horizon Go from UPC (5 percent),
The most used device for watching video content on/from the Internet is the smartphone (half of the respondents use it), followed by the computer (27 percent) and the television (27 percent).
HD and UltraHD quality option
HD resolution for TV content has become mandatory for most viewers, due to HD technology that is increasingly present in households and TV channels that have increased image quality. And, as HD resolution becomes the norm, the trend migrates to UltraHD (4K).
According to the study, almost 70 percent of Romanians prefer to watch TV in HD quality (only 21 percent do not pay attention to image quality).
As for the 4k resolution, 60 percent of the respondents learned about this new technology, and 1 in 10 Romanians receive an UltraHD channel. Moreover, 22 percent of Romanians say they would be willing to pay more for UltraHD channels and 36 percent would change their current TV service provider for a better offer of HD and UltraHD channels.
In Romanian households, HD TVs are a common presence. The study shows that 3 out of 4 Romanians (73 percent) own an HD TV, and 18 percent an UltraHD. The number of cathode ray TVs decreased in 2019 to 30 percent, from 47 percent in 2017. The most significant increase was recorded by Smart TVs – 55 percent of the respondents stated that they have at least one smart TV, compared to 44 percent in 2017. Most own a non-smart flat-screen TV (69 percent).
What Romanians watch on TV
The news are the most watched program by Romanians: 82 percent of the respondents say they watch news, the same percentage as in 2016. If the interest for news has remained constant in recent years, the interest for films has registered the highest increase.
Movies are the second most watched program, with 71 percent of options in 2019, compared to 65 percent in 2016.
Then, among the most watched TV shows are:
- documentaries (57 percent),
- entertainment/general audience shows (57 percent),
- TV shows (51 percent),
- sports (43 percent)
- talk shows (39 percent).
For young people (18-34 years), movies are the most watched TV program (74 percent, compared to 68 ercent news), while in rural areas the news is more watched than in the urban environment (86 percent vs. 78 percent).
The study wanted to find out what is the final choice of Romanians in terms of TV channels.
“If you were on a desert island and you could have access to only one TV channel, what would that be?” – participants were asked to study:
- PRO TV was the main choice (27 percent),
- Antena 1 (9 percent),
- Kanal D (8 percent),
- TVR1 (5 percent)
- HBO (4 percent).
If they were to choose a type of TV channel on a desert island, more than half of Romanians would choose general/entertainment channels, followed by news channels (12 percent) and movies (10 percent).
Older people (+55 years) are inclined towards news channels (20 percent), while young people (18-34 years) choose movie channels (17 percent), much less news (only 1 percent).
The TV market in Romania
According to data provided by ANCOM (National Authority for Administration and Regulation in Communications), the number of pay TV subscribers has increased by more than two percent in the last year, reaching 7.6 million.
At the end of 2018, it was registered for the first time that the number of pay TV subscribers exceeded the number of households in Romania. ANCOM official data shows that there are 102 pay TV subscriptions for 100 households in Romania.
However, according to the study, the main reason why Romanians choose their TV service provider remains “the only one available in the area in which they live”, with 22 percent of the answers.
However, this response has decreased in recent years: from 37 percent in 2015, to 32 percent in 2017.
The importance given to the service package and the price is on an increasing trend compared to 2016. 16 percent of the Romanians said that in 2019 they chose their TV service provider because they offered the best price for the service package (from 7 percent in 2016).
Moreover, half of the respondents would change their TV service provider for a more competitive price offer.
The choice of the provider based on the image quality criterion has decreased – from 16 percent in 2015, to 6 percent in 2019. Image quality has become a standard considered implicit, especially for cable TV subscribers. Image quality is more important for DTH subscribers, compared to cable TV subscribers: 12 percent vs. 4 percet.
The study, commissioned by SES ASTRA Romania and carried out by Mercury Research in June 2019, offers a detailed look at Romanians’ TV and video consumption habits. The report on the Romanian market is in its fourth edition.