Mobiles Popular in Front of TV; Less So for Watching TV

August 6, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Data-driven | Digital | Media & Entertainment | Mobile Phone | Television | Youth & Gen X

gfk-mobile-use-primetime-tv-august2012xls.pngAlmost two-thirds of Gen Y (aged 13-32) smartphone owners report using their device while watching primetime TV, while 56% of Gen X (33-46) smartphone owners do the same, per survey results released in July by GfK Custom Research North America. Although dual-screen use is popular among these age groups, it drops to just 35% of Baby Boomer (47-54) smartphone owners.

Tablet use while watching primetime TV is far more even across the generations, at 53% of Gen Y tablet owners, and 48% for both Gen X and Baby Boomers.

Smartphone Viewers Happy With Experience

Comfort with the smartphone as a media device varies across generations. Among Gen X smartphone viewers, 44% watch both clips and full episodes of TV shows on smartphones, compared to 24% for Gen Y and 17% for Baby Boomers. Notably, across 8 program genres, 65% to 86% of smartphone viewers said that the small-screen experience is either “as good as regular TV” or “good enough.” Gen Y appears the most satisfied, with 22% reporting their smartphone viewing is replacing time with regular TV, compared to 14% for Gen X and Baby Boomers.

Even so, smartphone viewers still represent a minority share of the total smartphone audience: only 21% of the smartphone users overall reported ever using their device to watch TV programs or movies, with about half watching at least once a week. And while some smartphone users are watching TV on their devices rather than on a regular TV, according to an IAB study released in July, 15% of smartphone users claim the devices drive them to watch less TV overall, and 24% of tablet users agree.

Smartphone App Users Tolerant of Ads

Data from GfK’s “How People Use Media Report: Smartphones and Tablets” indicates that while 7 in 10 smartphone users of TV-related apps feel that ads take away from their enjoyment, a similar proportion feels the ads are a fair price to pay for free content. About one-third feel that the ads fit well with the content, while one-quarter feels the ads are relevant to their personal needs. And only roughly 1 in 7 reports being inclined to buy from app advertisers.

Roughly 8 in 10 smartphone and tablet users would consider having a small ad on-screen at all times in exchange for free use of an app, and about half of those say that depends upon the content of the app.

About The Data: The GfK data is based on a survey of 1,001 English-speaking persons from GfK’s research panel (KnowledgePanel), specifically persons 13-54 who own or use a smartphone or tablet.

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