TV Still Dominant Video Consumption Platform, For Now

TV Still Dominant Video Consumption Platform, For Now

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) just released a new report looking at the devices on which consumers consume video content. Not a big surprise that TV is still the number one platform. What may be surprising are the platforms that aren't really contributing all that much to the overall.

The CEA report, The Evolving Video Landscape, was conducted between February 22 and March 2, 2012. and created by CEA Market Research. The survey showed that 34% of US adults online are watching more video than they were last year and TV programming is up 28% because of the wide range of ways to access it now.

The report found that TV is still the dominant device for viewing video, HDTVs accounted for 66% of US adults online but computers are catching up with 62% saying they use a laptop and 55% using a desktop. Far lower but still relevant are smartphones which are used by one-in-three consumers according to the report. Tablets? Less than one-in-five (17%) are using a tablet to consume online video. Those last two might not look all that impressive, but it jumped 10% since last year in terms of viewing of video content.

I wonder if that's due to fairly high prices for high quality tablets and the fact that most companies aren't buying employees tablets for work use, but laptops have been a norm in many companies for some time.

Two Screens Split Attention

A second screen seems to becoming a standard in the US as two-out-of-three have said they have a second screen up and running while watching video content on TV. I'm a GetGlue user, so I understand this trend. With more offerings that will incentivize real-time sharing and checking in to programs I expect this trend will continue to rise. The youngest adult demographic has already enthusiastically embraced it as 85% of the 18-24-year-old demographic say they do it and 70% of the 25-34 agree.

The average viewing per week? 16 hours, or 3.2 hours a day, five days a week. That's where I'm way behind as I only watch about 6-8 hours a week and generally none at all three or four days a week. I'm just too darned busy finding all this research for you loyal ReelSEO readers…

TV More than Just for Zoning Out

Televisions have seen an increase in their purpose. Formerly, just for watching broadcast content, they have found a new, more expansive role in the household with 47% of consumers saying they use it for more than just television programming. Music is trending quite high with 34% saying they use the TV to listen to music while 21% say they use it to listen to other forms of audio. I imagine that would be things like talk radio, audiobooks, etc. Other cited uses including surfing the web, communication, view photos and social media.

Now remember, another recent report said most people with connected TVs don't connect it to the Internet. While 20% of households have one, but only 27% of them connect it to the Internet. So, if there are 120 million households in the US (rough estimate), then 24 million have a connected TV and 6.48 million have connected it to the 'net.

Why You Should Care

For all the hype that surrounds things like HTML5 video on the web, mobile devices and tablets, the fact of the matter is that the traditional paths are still the dominant ones. Televisions are still the kind of content in terms of consumer consumption of video and traditional form factors for computers, desktop and laptop, are still the major meat eaters in the non-television online video ecosystem.

Will that change? I wholeheartedly believe it will. As tablets become more mainstream and less the realm of the geeks, Mac mindset and IT crowds of the world, there will be a major jump in video content consumption on them. The same goes for the smartphones and the superphones (those with quad-core processors, bigger screens and faster connection speeds).

With summer coming and TV shows winding down, now is the time to get that original online video content out in front of the soon-to-be-slacking-off school students who nabbed tabs with college loan fund overflow and the like. Those portable devices might just see a usage increase in the summer months…

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About the Author -
Christophor Rick is a freelance writer specializing in technology, new media, video games, IPTV, online video advertising and consumer electronics. His past work has included press releases, copy-writing, travel writing and journalism. He also writes novel-length and short fiction as part of Three-Faced Media . View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • richescorner

    I think the trend will shift back towards tv viewing as companies are finding ways to watch streaming content easily on a tv. This is the content that was driving people to computers and laptops that is now shifting back to tv due to technological advances in our tv sets.

    • Christophor Rick

       @richescorner I disagree. The thing about the TV is that it is time and location limited. Meanwhile, tablets and superphones are not so much anymore so I think that their video consumption will continue to rise solely based on convenience.

      • Video Broadcast Services

         @Christophor Rick I have to agree with Chris.  The gap is definitely closing between TV and online video.  It's important that we're ahead of the curve.

  • NorcalJeremy

    I watch video on all devices, my networked TV, laptop, IPAD, and Droid.  My most used is the TV, but like then noted I use the streaming music more than I do the youtube or Hulu channels.  Christophor Rick I think you are very wrong in the limited time and location as we watch 90% of TV broadcast off our DVR and on our timeframe not when it is broadcast.  Xfinity had a cool mobile app to access your DVR as well but we just switched to Dish so still expoloring options on their end.  But reality is the younger generation especially will be consuming content on mobile devices more and more.

  • http://www.richescorner.com/ richescorner

    I think the trend will shift back towards tv viewing as companies are finding ways to watch streaming content easily on a tv. This is the content that was driving people to computers and laptops that is now shifting back to tv due to technological advances in our tv sets.

    • Christophor Rick

       @richescorner I disagree. The thing about the TV is that it is time and location limited. Meanwhile, tablets and superphones are not so much anymore so I think that their video consumption will continue to rise solely based on convenience.

      • Video Broadcast Services

         @Christophor Rick I have to agree with Chris.  The gap is definitely closing between TV and online video.  It's important that we're ahead of the curve.

  • NorcalJeremy

    I watch video on all devices, my networked TV, laptop, IPAD, and Droid.  My most used is the TV, but like then noted I use the streaming music more than I do the youtube or Hulu channels.  Christophor Rick I think you are very wrong in the limited time and location as we watch 90% of TV broadcast off our DVR and on our timeframe not when it is broadcast.  Xfinity had a cool mobile app to access your DVR as well but we just switched to Dish so still expoloring options on their end.  But reality is the younger generation especially will be consuming content on mobile devices more and more.

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