Viacom study:15% of TV watching now done on tablets

Steven Loeb · April 21, 2012 · Short URL:

Second only to watching on an actual television set

Another day, another study showing that tablets are about to dominate us all. Last week, we found out that 90% of mobile shopping was conducted on a tablet. Now we are finding out that tablets are beginning to make big dents in other areas as well.

A Viacom study of 2,500 people, aged 8-54, found that

A full 15% of full length television (FLTV) watching is now done on a tablet, according to a Viacom study of 2,500 people, aged 8-54 years old.  That's second only to FLTV watching done on actual television sets.

Those who watch TV on their tablets the most are people who own Apple TVs, those who have a Netflix account, as well as those who are signed up to MSO, Airplay and Whispersync.

MSO means multiple system operators, referring to cable companies that also offers its users apps to stream its content. MSO app users spend 20% more time on their tablets than those who don’t have an MSO app. 

Airplay users use tablets for FLTV 24% of the time, while that number is 22% for MSO app users and 19% for Netflixers.

Over 33%  of both Airplay and Whispersync users cite the apps as the reason they user their tablets more often.

The study also found that tablet are often used to add to the experience of watching television, with apps like WatchWith, which allows users to view video clips, blog posts and play trivia games while watching shows on MTV, or VH1 Co-Star. Which allows people to blog and chat while the show is happening. 

A report from earlier this month found that 86% of tablet owners used their devices while watching television. Clearly, younger people are not satisfied with merely watching a televison show. These types of apps and add-ons are meant to make watching television a social activity, even if the person is watching alone.

Typical tablet user

The Viacom study also paints a portrait of who the typical tablet user is, and how they feel about the device.

Unsurprisingly, those in the 18-24 age group do the most media watching out of any group on their tablet.

The study found that 62% of those surveyed use their tablets on a daily basis, and that the average amount of time spent on the device is 2.4 hours a day. 85% of the usage is for personal use, rather than business, and 74% of the time the tablet is used at home.

The most surprising data is how emotionally connected tablet users seem to be with the device, with half of those surveyed saying it makes them feel “feel happier and more relaxed”, and 49% say they manage their lives better with a tablet. 40% responded that their tablet ‘brings out the best in me’ and 39% said it boosted their creativity.

There is one bright spot for the future of televisions: most respondents, despite their feels about tablets in general, would still rather watch their shows on an actual television.

As one responder is quoted as saying in the report: "If I'm looking forward to watching a sporting event or going to watch my favorite TV show, I still watch them on TV because it's just not the same. The iPad is too small to watch something like that."

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