New Study Highlights Challenges of Content Discovery

More than half of U.S. viewers are frustrated by the search for new content, leading them to rewatch shows they’ve already seen, according to a new study released by Comcast Advertising.

Content Discovery in a Multiscreen TV World: Surfing and Scrolling in a Sea of Content analyzes how consumers are finding content across traditional TV and streaming in the U.S. and Europe. Viewers are using a wealth of different services and platforms, with just 25 percent able to access all of their content in one place. Per the study, two in three U.S. viewers spend more than 6 minutes searching for something to watch, and 51 percent are frustrated by that journey.

“In today’s unbundled world of TV, consumers face a lot of challenges when it comes to discovering content,” said Travis Flood, executive director of insights at Comcast Advertising. “The goal of TV, whether traditional or streaming, has always been to make audiences feel entertained, not frustrated or overwhelmed. This research provides actionable insights into the process so that content owners and streaming platforms can improve their offerings to enhance the content discovery experience and provide more value to their viewers.”

The study also highlighted the crucial role of social interactions in content discovery; 55 percent of U.S. viewers listen to recommendations from friends, family and colleagues. Viewers are also genre-focused when choosing new content and are still channel surfing; 62 percent of Americans start their content search by channel surfing or scrolling through a program guide or app. The report also points to the importance of being featured on a home screen, with 51 percent of U.S. respondents finding new content that way. Plus, 85 percent of U.S. viewers are likely to be influenced to watch provider recommended content if they had seen an ad or trailer previously.

“With so much great TV dispersed across an unprecedented number of connected platforms and services, watching TV has become burdensome for consumers,” said Marcien Jenckes, president of Xumo and managing director of Comcast Advertising. “Xumo’s goal is to remove this burden and make TV simple again. Our devices run on Comcast’s Entertainment OS, which makes watching TV easy through features like AI and human-driven show recommendations, FAST channel integration in our grid guide experience and an unparalleled voice search capability.”