Consumers Increasingly Marry Mobile Devices With TV

April 16, 2012

gfk-mobile-devices-and-tv-viewing-april2012.jpgSmartphones, tablets, and TV make good companions, according to various reports released in April 2012. Data from a GfK Knowledge Networks survey indicates that 52% of minutes spent with tablets, and the same percentage with smartphones, are shared with TV viewing. Per a Forrester Research report, 85% of tablet owners use their tablets while watching TV. And survey findings from QuickPlay [download page] indicate that 91% of tablet owners have watched a TV program or full-length motive on their tablet, while 57% of mobile subscribers overall are interested in a multiscreen video service.

Tablet and TV Sharing Skews Older, Female

Data from the GfK survey indicates that baby boomers (aged 35-49) spend much more time combining their tablet and TV time than young adults aged 18 to 34, at 67% and 39%, respectively. Similarly, women said they spend 56% of their tablet time in front of a TV, compared to 48% for men.

Looking at the smartphone and TV combination, the study finds that the younger group spends a slightly higher proportion of its smartphone time in front of a TV than the older group (52% vs. 48%), although the gender gap is much wider, with men at 59% and women at 48%.

Tablet Owners More Media-Hungry

The GfK survey results also show that tablet owners spend 42 more minutes daily on the internet than non-owners, and 52 more minutes on all media. According to the Forrester Research report, tablet owners say they watch more online video overall since getting a tablet. And this is not to say that tablets are replacing TV: only 7% said they will not buy a large TV in the future, although close to one-third said they would forego a smaller TV (less than 24 inches).

Meanwhile, almost 1 in 5 tablet owners responding to the Forrester survey said that they connect their tablets to their TVs using HDMI or VGA cables. The report notes that the second-and third-generation iPad can do this, as can many Android tablets, although the Amazon Kindle Fire and Nook tablets cannot.

Mobile Video Becoming More Mainstream

Data from QuickPlay Media’s “2012 US Mobile TV and Video Survey Results Summary” indicates that 35% of mobile subscribers have tried mobile TV and/or video services, with 27% saying they are current service users. An additional 26% of respondents said they have not tried the services because they are not offered by their TV or mobile service providers.

Among current users, 81% say they watch more TV and video on their device than a year ago, and 65% say they use their service at least weekly.

Other Findings:

  • Current mobile TV and/or video service subscribers are most likely to watch at home (48%), with 10% saying they watch at work.
  • TV episodes (38%) and sports (28%) are the most frequently watched programming categories by current service users.
  • The primary providers used by current service users are TV service providers and over-the-top (OTT, such as Netflix, and Hulu), both at 34%, with 28% using mobile operators such as AT&T and Verizon.
  • Almost three-quarters of current service users are interested in viewing mobile TV and/or video channels that integrate social media.
  • The most common reason for not trying a mobile TV and/or video service cited by respondents is a belief that it will be too expensive (32%).
  • Among those no longer viewing mobile TV and/or videos on their device (note that this is a small sample size of 40), the most common reason given was dissatisfaction with the video quality (30%), followed by the service being too expensive (22%).
  • Of respondents who recalled viewing ads on their device, about 4 in 5 highlighted a lack of ad variety. 47% said they saw the same ads either played across the entire TV service, while 34% said they saw the same ads played across the individual channel. According to a Vindico report released in April, 98% of video ads in 2011 were re-purposed creative from TV.

About the Data: The GfK findings are based on interviews with 2,621 members of its KnowledgePanel. Interviewing was conducted between August 2011 and January 2012 with panel members ages 13 to 64. The QuickPlay Media survey was conducted via Zoomerang, and polled US- based mobile phone subscribers between the ages of 18 and 44, with a total respondent base of 526.

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