A new survey by Accenture suggests that, across a 10-nation sample, consumers who own smart phones are watching significantly less standard television.

In countries where a year-to-year comparison can be made (United States, France, Japan, China, India), the Accenture survey found the percentage of consumers watching broadcast or cable TV shows, movies or videos on TV, in a typical week, plummeted from 71 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2011.

Consumers are using multiple devices for entertainment, including to watch shows and videos. In a typical week, 33 percent of consumers now watch shows, movies or videos on their PCs, and 10 percent are watching such programs on their smart phones.

The Accenture respondents also might be a “leading indicator.” According to Accenture, half of the respondents own smart phones, a figure that might be high in some markets. Estimates of U.S. smart phone penetration, for example, range from perhaps 36 percent to about 44 percent.

More than half of consumers Accenture surveyed now own a smart phone, up 25 points in the past 12 months, or a growth rate of 89 percent over the previous year. A third of surveyed consumers bought a smart phone in 2011, an increase of 15 points in comparison with 2010.

Tablet ownership grew by 50 percent in 2011, albeit from a very-low base. Where in 2010 eight percent of consumers owned tablets, in 2011 12 percent of respondents owned them.

The Accenture 2012 study is based on a September 2011 survey of more than 10,000 consumers across 10 countries.

Those findings might be suggestive of where we need to keep watching for signs of change in the video entertainment market. If users are starting to consume less video delivered by their video subscriptions, that wouldn’t show up in any revenue figures, since usage is not consumption based.

But lower usage typically is one of the signals an analyst would look for it terms of a shift in consumer or business demand.

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