New platforms gain ground on TV

Horowitz Associates’s annual ‘State of Cable and Digital Media’ study reveal that, at least weekly, almost a third of US urban consumers (31 per cent) watch TV content via alternative platforms such as on a computer/laptop, on a mobile device/tablet, or streamed directly from the Internet to the TV through an OTT device such as an Apple TV, an Xbox, or a Blu-Ray DVD player.

Those who use alternative platforms for TV spend, on average, 15 per cent of their viewing time on a platform other than traditional TV.  This is in addition to time devoted to digital TV platforms such as DVRs and VOD.

Multicultural urban consumers over-index for using alternative platforms for TV compared to their white counterparts, the study reveals.  Almost half of Asian urban consumers (41 per cent) watch TV content on alternative platforms at least weekly, as do 37 per cent of Hispanic and 36 per cent of Black urban consumers, versus 25 per cent of White non-Hispanic urban consumers.

Through a computer/laptop alone, 35 per cent of Asians report at least weekly TV viewing, compared to 22 per cent, 17 per cent, and 15 per cent among Hispanic, Black, and White consumers, respectively.

Computers and OTT platforms aside, penetration of video-enabled mobile devices such as smartphones/iPhones, iPads, and gaming gadgets increased from 35 per cent in 2010 to 46 per cent in 2011.  This, along with the expanded availability of mobile apps providing access to professionally created content from major media companies, is paving the way to an increase in viewership of TV content on mobile platforms:  Self-reported weekly viewership of TV content on mobile devices alone has increased from 4 per cent in 2010 to 10 per cent in 2011.  Incidence of weekly mobile TV viewing is highest among Black and Hispanic urban consumers: 14 per cent, report at least weekly viewing, compared to 7 per cent among White and 5 per cent among Asian urban consumers.

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