Viewing TV shows on iPad, Kindle Fire, and other tablets drives greater TV viewing rather than cannibalizing ratings.
While many TV professionals suspect that spending more time watching programmes on non-TV platforms such as iPads means spending less time watching “regular” television, just the opposite is the case.
According to new research from TDG, 88% of adult tablet owners use the device to watch video, with television programs ranking high on their content list. This is proving to be a major concern among TV broadcasters troubled that tablet-based viewing may cannibalize high-value prime-time television viewership.
The TDG research suggests this concern is ill-founded. Among 18-49s that use their tablets to watch online TV programs (a key TV demographic), 39% report that their pad viewing has led to an increase in regular TV viewing. Otherwise, 46% report no change and 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,” notes Bill Niemeyer, TDG senior analyst, in a statement. “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.”
Tablet distribution is set to ramp quickly with the introduction of mid-market pads with compelling functionality and mass-market pricing such as the new lineup of Amazon Kindle Fire tablets, meaning more consumers will be using pads to watch video – whether over WiFi or mobile high-speed networks, and whether in or out of the home. This reality is not lost on TV broadcasters and multichannel operators concerned about the impact these emerging habits might have on “regular” television advertising.
“At the moment, this is a win/win for TV networks that can monetize 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.”