The tablet’s ability to deliver content has been considered a threat to PC makers and broadcasters, but new data shows 85% of people use their tablets while watching television, according to a report by Forrester.
The tablet is replacing laptops as second-screen devices, since we can do many of same tasks on tablets that we do on computers, including buying things, reading the news, and checking e-mail. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said the tablet will eventually cannibalise the PC. Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst with Forrester, agreed and called tablets “couch computers” in her report. Given the many different avenues for streaming video, the natural conclusion is that tablets will eventually kill off the TV, too, but Epps says tablets actually complement the TV-watching experience.
As mentioned, 85% of tablet owners use the device while watching TV. Nielsen also says that 30% of tablet use happens while watching the television. TV companies are creating companion applications to engage viewers on a deeper level during their favourite shows. Even US cable companies are creating their own video-streaming apps in an effort to get in front of the cord-cutting trend — severing ties with cable operators in favour of services like Hulu Plus. Comcast’s Xfinity app is an example of this.
But tablets may still eat into part of the TV market. According to Epps, people are replacing smaller TVs with tablets in rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom. Thirty-two percent of tablet owners will not buy a 24-inch TV or smaller since purchasing their new, mobile device. But the same does not go for larger televisions.
“The reality is that consumers with tablets think their tablets are even smarter, and at least some of the time prefer to watch the content from their small device on the big screen,” said Epps. — VentureBeat
- Image: Tom Raftery