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30M consumers watch TV via mobile: Nielsen

A whopping 30 million consumers watch television content via their mobile phones, according to Nielsen.

According to the ?State of the media: Consumer usage report? for 2011, mobile TV consumption is slowly growing and shows signs of potentially becoming a first screen for consumers. Additionally, the study looked at the types of activities and places consumers are accessing via mobile.

?We have seen that as smartphone and tablet penetration continues to rise, and wireless and Wi-Fi networks continue to provide speeds friendly to video viewing, users engaging in rich media activities from video to mobile commerce continues to grow,? said Monica Bannan, vice president of product leadership for mobile media at Nielsen, New York.

?Mobile brings an element of interactivity and follow up to television that can result in shopping and retail purchases online,? she said.

Mobile eyeballs
The Nielsen data shows that not only are consumers watching TV on different mediums, they are also interacting with it differently, especially on tablets.

According to the data, 30 percent of tablet owners surveyed said they looked up a product on their tablet after seeing it featured on TV.

Additionally, 40 percent of tablet owners surveyed in the study said they looked up information related to the program while they were watching.

However, the main purpose of mobile devices is as a second or third screen for users.

Of all consumers polled, the average time spent watching mobile videos on a mobile device per week was seven minutes compared to an average of 32 hours and 47 minutes on traditional TV.

Similarly, the mobile video content that users are watching are shorter with YouTube being the No. 1 channel for unique users.

Tablets are also increasingly becoming more wanted by consumers. Twelve percent of all consumers surveyed said they owned a tablet, and 19 percent of non-tablet owners polled said they have plans to purchase a tablet.

Smartphone adoption ranked higher with consumers with 36 percent of all consumers surveyed saying that they already owned a smartphone and 21 percent said they intended to purchase a smartphone.

App world
The Nielsen study also took a bird?s eye view on mobile video trends with applications.

According to the study?s results, the average consumer has downloaded 33 apps on their mobile device.

The most important factor for mobile users when watching video on their handsets is price, with 63 percent of users ranking either free or low-cost video as very important.

Forty-seven percent of mobile users look for a wide selection in content, and 43 percent of users looking for video content ranked user experience as the most-important feature.

Interestingly, 39 percent of users said they looked for videos with few to no advertisements in an app, showing that marketers need to think of more innovative and creative ways to target mobile users.

Similar to content, mobile users actively seek out free apps when choosing one to download.

Games were the most popular app category with 68 percent of consumers surveyed responding that they had downloaded a game app. Thirty-three percent said they had downloaded a free app, and 8 percent said they had downloaded a paid app.

Forty-five percent of consumers surveyed responded that they had downloaded a social networking app. Of the users, 20 percent of consumers owned only a free version, 2 percent owned a paid app and 23 percent owned both paid and free apps.

?Marketers have multiple screens to reach a consumer on and these screens can interact,? Ms. Bannan said.

?Content can be shared or linked between screens, and video plays a big role in the marketing message,? she said.

?As mobile video device penetration continues to rise, these considerations will become increasingly important to a complete marketing model.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York