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Tablets No. 2 to Viewing Episodic Programming on TV

18 Apr, 2012 By: Chris Tribbey, Erik Gruenwedel

Tablet computers are the preferred consumer electronics device after the television to watch serialized dramas and comedies, according to a new study.

Specifically, the report, called “Tapping into Tabletomics,” found that 15% of full-length TV show viewing occurred on the tablet and not the PC or laptop. Top genres watched on tablets include comedies and music programs, while television is dominated by reality programs, drama, sci-fi and sports.

The report showed that 62% of respondents use their tablets daily, with tablet users spending an average of 2.4 hours per day on the device. In addition, 85% of tablet use is for personal reasons versus business, 77% of tablet use is done alone and 74% of tablet usage is done at home. Most media activities on the tablet, such as playing games and watching TV shows, peaked with the 18-24 year-old demographic.

The research was commissioned by Viacom and culled from a national online survey of more than 2,500 people, in addition to interviews with tablet users in Los Angeles and New York.

Viacom, which owns Paramount Pictures, MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, among other media properties, wanted to examine consumer behavior and emotions around the tablet user-experience, with a focus on tablets as TV and the dual-screen experience, according to a release.

Interestingly, among consumers who subscribe to multichannel program distributors such as cable and satellite, about 50% have downloaded apps required to stream repurposed TV programming. These consumers spend 20% more time on a tablet than do non-app users.

In addition, Netflix subscribers, Apple TV owners, AirPlay users and Whispersync users rank among those most likely to watch TV programs on a tablet.

“Co-viewing apps create more meaningful ways to reach them and represent an entirely new level of engagement for fans of our content,” said Colleen Fahey Rush, EVP and chief research officer, Viacom Media Networks.

Finally, while tablets provide both emotional and functional benefits, most tablet owners are not ready to purge their smartphones, laptops or gaming consoles. More than 65% of respondents said they would replace their laptop before their tablet because it lacks the work functionality, and 77% would replace their iPhone before their iPad. 


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