Tablets Are Leading Second-Screen Alternative to Televisions
Tablet devices have emerged as the leading second-screen alternative to television for viewing full-length episodes, according to 'Tapping Into Tabletomics,' a new study released by Viacom.
The new research examines consumer behavior and emotions around the tablet user-experience, with a focus on tablets as TV and the dual-screen experience.
Drawing on a national online survey of more than 2,500 people ages 8-54 as well as qualitative, in-depth interviews with dedicated tablet users in New York and Los Angeles, "Tapping into Tabletomics" found that, in just a few years, tablets have risen to second-screen prominence for full-length TV (FLTV) show viewing, ahead of computers. Out of total time spent watching FLTV shows, 15% of viewing occurs on tablets.
Since tablets came into play, FLTV show viewing on desktops and smartphones has declined the most. Top genres viewed on tablets - comedy and music - align more with computers than the TV. Reality is the top genre viewed on television, followed by drama, science fiction and sports.
MSO app users, Netflixers, Apple TV owners, AirPlay users and Whispersync users are very aggressive tablet users. These services lead to significantly higher levels of FLTV show watching on tablets.
Among tablet owners who subscribe to a cable company that offers streaming apps, about half report downloading the app. These MSO app users spend 20% more time on their tablet than non-MSO app users.
24% of Airplay users watch FLTV shows on their tablets, while the same can be said for 22% of MSO app users and 19% of Netflix users.
Over one third of both AirPlay (35%) and Whispersync (34%) users say they watch more TV on their tablets because of these apps.
The Dual-Screen Experience
While watching television, many respondents use tablets to multitask or as a complementary experience via apps like MTV's WatchWith and VH1's Co-Star, designed as add-ons, rather than distractions, to the television screen.
"Our audiences are some of the most deeply engaged and active across social platforms," said Colleen Fahey Rush, Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer, Viacom Media Networks. "Co-viewing apps create more meaningful ways to reach them and represent an entirely new level of engagement for fans of our content."
Overall, television continues to provide the best experience. When asked about everything from sound/picture quality to watching current episodes to ease-of-use, the TV experience won on every dimension. One participant said: "If I'm looking forward to watching a sporting event or going to watch my favorite TV show, I still watch them on TV because it's just not the same. The iPad is too small to watch something like that."