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Mobile devices attract TV viewers

7 June 2013
THETFORD CENTER: TV viewing habits in the US show distinct differences across traditional TV and mobile platforms as regards programme genres and viewing times, according to a new study.

A report from the Council for Research Excellence, an independent research group, surveyed 6,000 Americans aged 15-64 with broadband internet access at home and who watch at least five hours of TV per week.

It found that the greater part of tablet and smartphone TV viewing – 22% and 28% respectively – occured during the daytime between 9am and 3pm, whereas this time slot accounted for only 19% of traditional TV viewers and for 26% of those who rely on their computers.

Traditional TV usage rose to 25% during primetime Monday to Saturday schedules. At the same time, smartphone usage halved to 14% and tablet viewing fell marginally to 20%.

The survey also found that tablets accounted for 15% of late night viewing from 11.30pm to 1am, compared with 12% for smartphones and 9% for traditional TV.

When tracking programme genres, traditional TV dominated as the preferred source for news and business – at 31% compared with 15% for smartphones and 11% for tablets. Sport, too, accounted for a larger percentage of viewing occasions on traditional TV (19%) than on tablets (9%) or smartphones (14%).

However, dramas were the top genre for tablets and smartphones – at 31% and 27% of viewing occasions respectively – and both devices were also popular for watching comedies (at 20% and 24%).

When it comes to viewing location, 82% of tablet viewing occurred in the home a figure that dropped to 64% for smartphones. In addition, some 12% of smartphone viewing occasions happened in the office or while travelling.

The findings coincide with news that Verizon Wireless plans to pay $1bn for the rights to air National Football League games, enabling its customers to access NFL games via an app on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights this season.

Brian Angiolet, Verizon's vice-president of marketing and communications, told the Wall Street Journal: "We look for these deals to drive switching, loyalty and subscription fees" while media consultant Lee Berke predicted that viewers for NFL games on mobile will continue to double for the foreseeable future.

Data sourced from Marketing Charts, Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff

 
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