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Tablets Up Digital Video Consumption

14 Mar, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Apple iPad

Owners of the tablet portable media devices are watching (streaming) 2.5 times the number of online movies and TV shows as non-tablet owners, according to a new report.

L.E.K. Consulting, a Boston-based research firm found portable media devices — such as the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Motorola Xoom, Blackberry Playbook and Android Tablet PC — have upped the appetite for movies, video games and newspapers, among other media.

In a survey of 2,000 consumers in the United States, 26% of tablet owners cited increased consumption of print newspapers, compared with 6% of non-tablet owners. Tablet owners also played video games three times more frequently than non-tablet owners.

Although digital media is generally winning wider consumer adoption, TV still is the most popular medium among respondents, with one-third picking it as the single form of media they would keep if they were stranded on an island and forced to choose only one. The No. 2 medium is general Internet access (24%) and the third most popular is social network access (13%).

“Consumers’ media choices are changing rapidly and the surge in consumption by tablet owners has been dramatic,” said Dan Schechter, VP and co-head of L.E.K. Consulting’s global media, entertainment & technology practice. “It’s a clear indication that people are hungry for the ease of use and value of short-form digital content, and there’s a significant opportunity for both content creators and advertisers to feed this appetite for media with targeted offers.”

L.E.K. found that contrary to all the attention given toward so-called “cord-cutting” of pay-TV channels by subscribers of Hulu and Netflix, only 2% of respondents had actually done so. Indeed, the bigger trend involved “cord-trimming,” whereby 16% of respondents downsized their monthly cable bill by at least 25%.

The report found consumers are keeping flat-price subscription-based services, such as Netflix. Indeed, transaction-based offerings are declining and consumers reported
less frequent use of services such as video-on-demand (23% decrease) and one-time downloads (22% decline).

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