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Moving pictures: online television is officially mobile

For the first time, iPhone and iPad apps have overtaken the web browser when it comes to watching TV content online. The appetite for TV everywhere among US consumers has never been greater with on

  • Published: June 6, 2014 10:11 AM IST
Online TV

For the first time, iPhone and iPad apps have overtaken the web browser when it comes to watching TV content online.

The appetite for TV everywhere among US consumers has never been greater with online viewing of programs up by 246 percent over the past 12 months. That equates to some 151 billion videos digested by households with pay TV subscriptions. But as well as total videos consumed, the Adobe Digital Index Benchmark Report highlights how consumption habits are changing.

The use of over the top (OTT) devices like the Roku Streamer and Apple TV has never been higher, and games consoles are also proving more popular as a means of connecting a TV to the internet to access content. Together they now account for 6 percent of all video consumption, but they’ll have some way to go before they can compete with launching a smartphone or tablet app. Until now, according to Adobe’s figures, which monitor traffic across 250 pay-TV service providers in the US, the web browser and therefore the desktop or notebook has been the go-to device for catching up on a favorite show or for binge watching sessions.

However, over the past 12 months the browser has fallen into second place, with a 36 percent share, behind apps on Apple devices: iOS apps account for 43 percent and apps running on Android devices for a further 15 percent of online viewing share. It means that over 50 percent of online TV is watched on a mobile device. But some types of content are better suited to certain types of device. Adobe found that 80 percent of children’s content was viewed on iOS apps, but when it comes to news-focused videos, the browser is where 50 percent of views come from.

“More than one fifth of all pay-TV households in the U.S. now watch TV online across screens,” said Jeremy Helfand, vice president, Primetime, Adobe. “With rapidly rising consumer expectations for TV across devices, the TV industry is moving through a rapid transformation and finding new ways to bring TV to whatever screen audiences want to watch.”

  • Published Date: June 6, 2014 10:11 AM IST