Tablets Now Second-Most Used Device To View Full Shows

A decade ago, who would've believed that tablets would be all the rage? And more than that, really. These things have taken on a life of their own, replacing new laptop purchases, doubling as presentation tools, and evidently, tripling as TV-watching devices. According to "Tapping Into Tabletomics," a new study released by Viacom, tablets have become the leading second-screen alternative to television for viewing full-length episodes. Just think about that: television has been around for decades, and within a few short years, tablets have now become the second leading way in which people consume it. That's pretty amazing.

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. It tapped into a pool of over 2500 people (ages 8 to 54) and relied on qualitative, in-depth interviews with dedicated tablet users in New York and Los Angeles. The findings? "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.

While amazing that this has happened in such a brief time, it's certainly logical. Tablets are larger than phones -- large enough to enjoy full-length shows -- but way smaller than a laptop. It's an ideal table-side viewing buddy. Now, the question: How long until tablets overtake TVs?

Are you watching shows on your tablet? Have you jumped on the bandwagon?
Tags:  Study, tablet, viewing