Tablets are becoming an alternative to television for full-length content, Viacom study shows

Tablets are becoming an alternative to television for full-length content, Viacom study shows

Tablets are becoming an alternative to television and to other devices for users to watch full-length TV episodes, Viacom reports. This is one of the findings of its latest study, “Tapping into Tablenomics”.

As its name says, this report focused on tablet users, based on a combination of qualitative interviews and a quantitative survey of 2,500 people. When it comes to TV show viewing, its main conclusion is that these devices are now more popular than computers and desktops. For instance, Viacom learned that out of the total time spent watching full length-TV shows, 15% of viewing occurs on tablets.

Beyond this general data, the study also discovered differences between several user segments. While 19% of Netflix users watch TV episodes on their mobile devices, this percentage grows to 24% when looking at Airplay users. As for age groups, media activities on the tablet reach their peak with the 18-24 demographic.

New TV or second screen?

However, the tablet isn’t replacing TV, media giant Viacom insists. As a matter of fact, the top genres viewed on tablets, comedy and music, align more with computer than with traditional TV, where reality and drama remain the most popular categories.

More generally, the company also points out that second screens can be complementary to the traditional TV experience – and hopefully drive more viewing time overall. If Viacom is to be believed, it is already the case, as over one third of both AirPlay and Whispersync users say they watch more TV on their tablets because of second-screen apps.

While it would be surprising to hear Viacom say that TV is dying, it is also encouraging to see that the company isn’t viewing second screens as a threat. According to Viacom Media Networks’ executive VP and chief research officer Colleen Fahey Rush, the best thing to do is to embrace this new trend:

“Our audiences are some of the most deeply engaged and active across social platforms. Co-viewing apps create more meaningful ways to reach them and represent an entirely new level of engagement for fans of our content.”

This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.

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