smartphone_tvIt seems intuitive that viewers would focus more on content displayed on smaller screens as opposed to larger ones. Results of a study from the Council for Research Excellence (CRE) showed just that: mobile TV viewers are more focused on TV content when viewed on smartphones as compared to that on larger devices.

“Viewers watching TV content on smartphones performed unrelated multi-tasking on other electronic devices during only 14% of the occasions on which they viewed TV programming,” according to a Council press release. That compares to 27% for tablet viewing, 31% for computer (desktop and laptop viewing, and 34% of those watching on TV sets.

Those watching TV programs on smartphones were also more likely to engage in online activities related to the show they were watching, CRE and market research partner Chadwick Martin Bailey found. Those watching TV programming on smartphones did so on 39% of viewing occasions as compared to 21% for television set-viewing occasions,  27% for tablet-viewing occasions and 31% for computer-viewing occasions.

CRE and other market researchers have found that a surprising amount of smartphone TV viewing takes place in the home – 64% according to CRE’s research. That indicates there’s a lot of simultaneous viewing of programs on TV sets and smartphones, CRE says, as 90% of in-home viewing takes place via TV sets. “Convenience, portability and filling downtime are the top drivers of out-of-home smartphone viewing, CRE found.

Other key findings in CRE’s “TV Untethered” report include:

  • Mobile TV viewers tend to be younger (mean age 35), higher income professionals with graduate degrees, and reflect more ethnic diversity than non-mobile-TV users;
  • The portion of overall TV-viewing devoted to mobile devices decreases for older mobile-TV users – 28% for users ages 15-to-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,” co-chair of CRE’s Media Consumption & Engagement Committee and head of research for 20th Television, Fox Joanne Burns elaborated.

“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 multi-taskers, 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.”

Image courtesy of flickr user Sucello Leilões Virtuais.

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