SHANGHAI: Chinese consumers are turning to tablets as their preferred device for watching online videos and reading magazines, with such users also becoming increasingly accepting of ads, new research has suggested.

A study jointly initiated by Millward Brown, the market research agency, GroupM Interaction, China's largest digital media buyer, Miaozhen Systems, the third party advertising technology company, and the conglomerate media groups Modern Media and Fushion, found that 84% of tablet owners used their devices for watching online videos while almost 50% read app-based magazines.

For the research, one-on-one telephone interviews were conducted with more than 22,000 tablet users in 169 cities around the country, as well as face-to-face meetings with 600 tablet users in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu. In addition, eye-tracking technology tested the advertising effects of tablets.

"We have found that users are more likely to engage in and accept advertisements placed on tablets than on traditional PCs," said Tony Chen, President of GroupM Interaction China.

"In the era of tablets where the mouse click is replaced by finger touch, big screen, high resolution and intimate interaction have provided advertisers with more choices of form and content," he added.

The research showed that 39% of users were willing to click advertisements displayed on tablets, which was 60% higher than advertisements on conventional PCs.

Among the reasons given were that the advertising environment was clean and neat, trendy and eye-catching display effects, and unique interactive features. The study suggested that tablets were most suited to advertisers seeking to establish high-end brand positioning and unconventional advertising effects.

GroupM Interaction also established that the frequency and time spent on online videos and app magazines by tablet users were greater than via more traditional media.

The frequency and time spent on watching online video, for example, was respectively twice and 1.5 times that of traditional PCs. Readers of app magazines also reported higher frequency and longer reading hours than printed magazines.

Moreover, the pace of change is likely to accelerate, as 59% of users indicated that in the future they planned to watch online video more often on their tablets, while 33% indicated they would watch video less often on PCs. More than half of the tablet users also said they would read more app-based magazines in the future.

The nature of viewing is also changing, as tablets have altered the typical peak viewing time, which now stretches from 7pm to 11pm.

Data sourced from GroupM China; additional content by Warc staff