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Tablet users? TV consumption is heavy across mobile, traditional outlets: report

Tablet users who stream television programming on their devices watch more regular TV, not less, according to a new report from The Diffusion Group. 

Marketers are concerned that as consumers spend more time consuming TV content via tablets, this will cannibalize high-value prime-time TV viewership, thereby diluting the impact of their ads. However, the research suggests this should not be a concern, with 39 percent of 18-49 year olds reporting that their tablet viewing has lead to an increase in regular TV viewing.

?The big new is just how much video use is important to people that are using tablets,? said Bill Niemeyer, a senior analyst at The Diffusion Group, Frisco, TX.

?We found that 89 percent of tablet users report watching video on their tablets,? he said. ?It is not surprising that a lot of people are watching video, but it is surprising just how many are.

?Among 18-49 year olds, 92 percent are watching video.?

Media consumption habits
According to TDG?s research, 89 percent of adult tablet owners use their devices to watch video, with TV programs ranking high on their content list.

Among 18-49 year olds, 46 percent report no change in their TV viewing habits as a result of their tablet media consumption while only 15 percent report a decrease in regular TV viewing.

Even among consumers 50-years old and up, the net impact of tablet media consumption is close to zero, according to the study. 

The research shows that consumers are watching both short-form and long-form videos and movies via tablets as well as using the devices while they are watching regular TV for a variety of activities, some that are and some that are not related to the program they are watching.

Other key findings include that, among all tablet users, 14 minutes a day is spent consuming video while among the 18-49 age group, the number increases to 17 minutes a day. Additionally, 40 percent report using their tablet devices once a day while watching TV.

Tablet market grows
The tablet market is quickly growing as new mid-market devices with strong content consumption functionality come on the market. At the same time, prices for these devices are beginning to come down.

As a result of these developments, tablet adoption is expected to increase.

The new Kindle Fire tablets are designed to make it easy for consumers to watch video over Wi-Fi and mobile high-speed networks at home or on the go with prices ranging between $199 and $299 for two Wi-Fi versions and $499 for the 4G version.

For broadcasters, the research shows that TV networks can monetize tablet viewing via advertising, pay-per-view or subscription OTT revenue, without seeing a decrease in viewership for their regular TV programming.

The research suggests that marketers need to maintain a level of consistency between their tablet and TV campaigns.

?Someone might start watching a program on their DVR and finish watching it on their tablet,? Mr. Niemeyer said. ?It is going to be a much more effective effort if the campaigns are coordinated.?

?When you look at the rapid increase in competition and price points for tablets, what?s happening is that the number of tablets in the household is going to increase dramatically,? he said.

?While the big screen TV is still going to be the primary TV devices, you will see tablets being used to replace second and third TV screens in multiple rooms.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York