In-Stat: Half of tablet owners watch movies, TV

The online video market already appears to be getting a strong boost from the relatively new collection of TV-viewing applications for tablet PCs, according to In-Stat.

The market research firm found that as many as 50 percent of table PCs owners are watching both feature-length movies and TV shows on their devices. That figure should give the broadcasters and multi-screen service providers more confidence in their online video strategies.

In-Stat said that 65 percent of the U.S. population may own a smartphone and/or tablet by 2015, and that the number of frequent mobile video users could more than triple over the next five years. About 86 percent of all smartphone and tablet PC users will view video on their mobile devices. In addition, about 60 percent of them also will be watching over-the-top video at home.

Companies targeting the sector also should prepare for more integration between online video viewing and social media applications, as In-Stat's research already suggests that almost  50 percent of 18 to 24 year old smartphone/tablet owners frequently engage in social network activities about TV shows while they are watching those shows.

Multi-screen video has long been discussed, and the emergence of TV-viewing apps for tablet PCs this year seems to have sent the movement into overdrive. Content distribution rights remain a stumbling block, but it is becoming very clear that viewers just want to watch more.

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