NEW YORK: Around 10% of US smartphone owners watch full-length television programmes on their devices, a shift that has major implications for advertisers, new research has said.

Magid Advisors, the consulting group, said that people were using their phones to catch up on their viewing while travelling on public transport or choosing to use them at home when other household devices like televisions or computers were unavailable.

This development has been made possible by both the increasing screen size of smartphones and faster connection speeds via both mobile operators' and wifi networks.

With some 38% of smartphone owners already watching video clips on their devices, viewing entire programmes is a new trend that appears to be increasing overall consumption of television content.

"More TV content – but on other devices," summarised Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors, whose research has indicated that people spend some 25 minutes a day watching full-length television episodes on digital devices, compared to five hours on a regular television.

"You have this device that is really widely distributed, and there is a lot of content available through subscriptions and free services," he told the Financial Times.

He remarked that watching television programmes on smartphones was "not the dominant behaviour right now – more people are watching on TVs and computers – but the smartphone is growing".

One consequence is that advertisers are transferring existing commercials created for television to mobile devices. Ad rates on mobile remain significantly cheaper than other media and the market for mobile video ads is set to grow sharply.

"Consumers will watch endless amounts of videos on their phones," observed Angela Steele, chief executive of Ansible, a mobile advertising agency owned by Interpublic.

"And we see great results of mobile video ads, regardless of how much consumers enjoy or dislike the experience," she added.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff