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Report: More Pay-TV Homes Using Mobile to Control TV

16 May, 2014 By: Chris Tribbey

Nearly two-thirds of broadband households have at least one Internet-connected TV in their home, and more than 15% of American homes with a broadband connection are using their mobile device to control content on their TVs, according to a new survey.

The report from The Diffusion Group (TDG) found that 12% of adult broadband consumers are using their smartphones to control their TV, with 8% using a tablet (4% said they use both devices).

“While mundane to many, this data is of great importance to TV OEMs (original equipment manufacturers], pay-TV service providers, and any company looking to ‘enhance’ the in-home TV experience via the use of second screens,” said Michael Greeson, president and director of research at TDG. “In fact, getting consumers to use these devices to control the basic functionality of their TVs is an influential first step towards more widespread use of social TV applications. Not all will fall in line, but original control use casts a much wider net.”

TDG notes that 80% of consumers are still using a standard, committed remote control for their TV, though late Millennials (18-24) and early Millennials (25-34s) are more likely to more likely to use a second screen to operate the main TV, according to TDG’s data.

“For TV OEMs, it offers the promise of one day eliminating the cost of remote controls altogether, or require a separate fee to get one,” Greeson said. “For operators, if they brand the control app, it puts their user interface and control guide on the second screen, where it can encourage more than just control. For social TV companies, the wider the net is cast, the more users will be open to their solution.”

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