Michelle Clancy | 25-07-2013
Perhaps somewhat counter-intuitively, mobile TV viewers are more focused on TV content when it's viewed on their smartphones than on larger devices, according to a study from the Chadwick Martin Bailey.
The study found that viewers performed unrelated multitasking on other electronic devices during only 14% of the occasions on which they viewed TV programming on smartphones. This compared to 27% for tablet viewing, 31% for computer (desktop and laptop) viewing and 34% of the television set viewing occasions.
At the same time, viewers watching a TV show on a smartphone also were more likely to engage in online activities related to that show such as looking up show information, or posting about the show on social networks. Such activity occurred during 21% of the television set viewing occasions, 27% for tablet viewing occasions, 31% for computer viewing occasions and 39% of the smartphone viewing occasions.
The study, TV Untethered, also found that mobile TV viewers tend to be younger (the mean age being 35), higher income professionals with graduate degrees, and reflect more ethnic diversity than non-mobile-TV users.
Unsurprisingly, the portion of overall TV-viewing devoted to mobile devices decreases for older mobile-TV users 28% for users ages 15-24, 18% for ages 25-34; 12% for ages 35-49; and 8% for ages 50-64.
Mobile TV viewers are often heavy overall TV viewers and are more likely than non-mobile-TV viewers to be TV show opinion leaders and to use social media to talk about TV.
"This research suggests greater audience measurement needs to be directed at smartphone viewing," Laura Cowan, research director at LIN Media. "People are bringing devices from room to room, and out of the home and on their commutes. TV sets still rule in the home, even for the younger demographics but elsewhere, and even in the home for multitaskers, smartphones are becoming an important device for viewing professional TV content. It all goes to convenience and portability; more people are watching more TV everywhere and increasingly on smartphones."
The CRE previously disclosed study findings that 64% of smartphone TV viewing occurs in the home reflecting some simultaneous viewing with TV sets, which continue to dominate in-home viewing at 90%. The top drivers of in-home mobile viewing cited by participants are content and device availability, family dynamics, device preference and, of course, inertia.
Mobile TV viewers do most of their out-of-home smartphone TV watching (23%) at work. By contrast, only 14% of computer-based TV viewing occurs at work, with 8% for tablet viewing and 5% for TV set viewing. Convenience, portability and filling downtime are the top drivers of out-of-home smartphone viewing.
"These insights to how people screen-shift TV content show new opportunity to reach a desirable audience, and emphasise the need to design future measurement to capture online and in-app viewing," Cowan added.