iPad, Kindle Fire and other tablets drive greater TV viewing

Joseph O'Halloran | 12-09-2012

As tablets cement the second screen TV experience, rather than cannibalising ratings and viewing, as some feared, they are actually driving increased viewing, especially among 18-49 year olds, new research from TDG has revealed.

TDG's Video Behaviour Among iPad/Tablet Users - 2012 report showed that 88% of adult tablet owners use the device to watch video, with television programmes ranking high on their content list.

Yet contrary to any suggestion that such behaviour is cannibalising high-value prime-time television viewership, the research also found that among 18-49s who use their pads to watch online TV shows, nearly two-fifths (39%) report that their tablet viewing has led to an increase in regular TV viewing. Nearly half (46%) report no change and only 15% report a decrease in regular TV viewing. Even among 50+ users, the net impact is close to zero.

"This is a conclusion of particular relevance to those involved in the TV industry including networks, multichannel operators, and advertisers," observed Bill Niemeyer, TDG senior analyst. "The data clearly shows that watching online TV shows on a tablet drives greater TV viewing among the highly desired and increasingly hard-to-reach 18-49s."

TDG also believes that the industry is set to get an added benefit when a number of smaller tablets, in particular a much rumoured 7-inch iPad and the new Amazon Kindle Fire, are introduced, each likely to offer, said TDG, compelling functionality and mass-market pricing. This, said the analyst, will likely result in more consumers using the devices to watch video over Wi-Fi or 3G/4G networks, in and out of the home.

"At the moment, this is a win/win for TV networks that can monetise tablet viewing via advertising, pay-per-view, or subscription OTT revenue, while at the same time reaping the benefits of increased viewing of their regular tv programming," added niemeyer.