More than 40% of consumers under 35 watch TV or movies on their smartphones weekly, new research says, with those viewers typically watching more TV, being more aware of services and subscribing to more platforms than the typical consumer.
They are the new Holy Grail for the TV industry, said Jonathan Hurd, a director at consulting firm Altman Vilandrie & Co. Providers should be devising strategies for capturing this growing and active demographic, especially as more consumers are cutting back on their cable services.
More than three-quarters (78%) of smartphone viewers watch paid online video weekly compared to 49% of others, but 78% also watch broadcast TV weekly, slightly above the 76% rate of others.
Some 71% of smartphone viewers also binge watch (i.e. watch three episodes of a program in one sitting) at least monthly and 41% use their cable provider’s TV Everywhere service every month.
Not surprisingly, consumer awareness of TV Everywhere, which is generally included in a cable subscription, remains low at 40% compared to 58% of smartphone users.
Altman Vilandrie also said tablet ownership increased to 50% from 40% in 2013 and the percentage of all consumers watching TV or movies on tablets weekly jumped to 26% from 17% last year.
While tablet ownership saw solid gains, the significant growth of folks using a tablet to regularly watch TV and movies proves that this is a viewing platform that will be with us for the long haul, said Hurd.
The study of 3,000 consumers also found that pay-TV service remains nearly ubiquitous in the United States with just 5% of TV households not subscribing. But, the researcher found, cord shaving jumped from 26% last year to 35% in 2014.
More than half of consumers under 35 said they spend less on cable than they used to because they use internet video instead.
About 1-in-3 cable subscribers said they have considered cancelling cable service in the past year, up slightly from 28% in 2013, and double the 15% reported in 2010.
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