Online tablet and mobile phone viewing of paid video content has grown rapidly since 2011, while viewing of such content via PCs and Macs has declined, according to J.D. Power and Associates’ second annual “2012 U.S. Residential Pay-to-View Study.”

According to the study, media tablets are consumers’ preferred mobile device for viewing pay-to-view content from the major home television and video service providers in the United States, with 18% saying they used tablets for that purpose, up from 11% in 2011. Online paid video watching via mobile phones increased to 16% this year from 14% in 2011.

Overall, 29% of video service customers watch paid content on a handheld device. PC/Mac viewing of paid content has declined to 39% from 48 percent in 2011.

“Customers are becoming more comfortable viewing their paid content on a smaller screen, such as a tablet or mobile phone,” said Frank Perazzini, director of telecommunications at J.D. Power and Associates. “The convenience of the device, as well as the availability of the content, has made it much easier to experience video on a variety of devices. However, the desire to watch events and video content as it happens is still prevalent, as more than 50 percent of viewers watch live television programming.”

Peering into customer satisfaction with their pay-to-view service providers, J.D. Power examined seven factors and found that overall satisfaction averaged 750 on a 1,000-point scale, up from 743 in 2011.

Online viewing habits and usage differs greatly across Gen Y and Baby Boomers, J.D. Power found, though their differences are narrowing when it came to satisfaction with their services. Satisfaction among Gen Y customers declined 18 points to 752 year-over-year, while satisfaction among Baby Boomers increased 19 points to 748. Lower ratings for cost-of-service and customer service were partially to blame for Gen Y’s overall ratings decline, while satisfaction among Baby Boomers increased due to higher ratings for billing, ease of use and video programming variety.

“Baby Boomers are becoming more comfortable with paid video technology and, as a result, are becoming more satisfied with the services available,” Perazzini commented. “Conversely, Gen Y customers are already familiar with the technology and not only demand a high level of service from video service providers, but also are quick to seek alternatives when they believe they could have a better experience elsewhere.”

When choosing an online video service provider, 21% of Gen Y customers consider mobility compared with only 9% of Baby Boomers.

Nearly one-fourth (23%) of customers watch online paid content via gaming consoles as compared to the 29% that do so via handheld devices. Customers who watch via gaming consoles watch an average 6.3 hours/week, while those who use a PC or Mac consume 5.3 hours/week. Those using mobile phones watch 4.9 hours a week on average; those using a music player 4.5 hours and those using a tablet 4.4 hours.

“These findings illustrate that while customers appreciate the convenience and value that gaming consoles provide, the TV screen is still a preferred viewing media,” Perazzini continued. “On the other hand, average viewing times for mobile devices and computers are likely impacted by battery life and screen .”

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