Mobile TV viewing up by 200 hours a year since 2012: study

mobile user

Average viewing time on mobile devices is up more than 200 hours a year since 2012, according to Ericsson.

Ericsson today release its seventh annual ConsumerLab TV & Media Report -- based on the viewership habits of 1.1 billion consumers across 24 countries -- which it says “details the enormous and rapid shift in TV and video viewing behavior towards mobility.”

Part of that shift is seen in the 200 hour increase, which translates to overall TV and video viewing increasing by 1.5 hours per week. But that uptick in mobile viewing is in contrast to a decline in fixed screen viewing of 2.5 hours a week. To put it another way, Ericsson says that weekly share of time spent watching TV and video on mobile devices has grown by 85 percent between 2010 and 2016, and on fixed screens it has gone down by 14 percent over the same period.

Ericsson mobile TV
Image: Ericsson ConsumerLab TV & Media Report

“For consumers in general, and millennials in particular, being able to watch on the smartphone is key. Consumers not only want the shared, social broadcast TV experience, they also expect the flexibility of an à la carte on-demand media offering,” said Zeynep Ahmet, senior advisor for Ericsson ConsumerLab, in a statement.

While this shift is happening, programmers and broadcasters are continuing to push their content out to OTT services. ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox have jumped on board with early vMVPD entrants like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue and are expected to be a part of upcoming services including DirecTV Now as well as Hulu’s and Google’s live TV streaming services.

Meanwhile, CBS, Showtime and HBO have made significant headway with direct-to-consumer OTT services.

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While more programmers and broadcasters find ways to go increasingly mobile and multi-platform for viewers, traditional linear TV continues to suffer from a perceived lack of anything to watch. According to Ericsson’s study, 44 percent of U.S. consumers say they can’t find anything to watch on linear TV on a daily basis, compared to 36 percent last year. The same study though says that U.S. consumers spend 45 percent more time choosing what to watch on VOD services than linear TV.