Smartphone viewing of TV and video doubles

Half of all TV and video viewing will be on a mobile screen — smartphones, tablets and laptops — by 2020, according to new research from Ericsson.

The eighth edition of the company’s annual ConsumerLab TV and Media report reveals the massive growth in TV and video viewing and the ongoing shift in the way consumers watch content.

Overall, we are spending more time than ever before watching TV and video content: an average of 30 hours a week, including active viewing of scheduled linear TV, live and on-demand internet services, downloaded and recorded content, as well as DVD and Blu-ray. Almost 60% of viewers now prefer on-demand viewing over scheduled linear TV viewing, an increase of around 50% since 2010.

We are also watching more via smartphone. Around 70% of consumers now watch TV and video on a smartphone — twice as many as in 2012 — and it makes up a fifth of total TV and video viewing.

Perhaps not surprisingly, young people watch the most content each week, with 16 to 19 year olds watching an average of 33 hours. That’s an increase of almost 10 hours a week since 2010. This group spends more than half of their time watching content on-demand, and more than 60% of their TV and video viewing hours are spent on a mobile device screen.

For the first time, the report also explores the level of consumer interest in virtual reality (VR) in conjunction with media consumption. It predicts that one in three consumers will be VR users by 2020, and says that the technology is likely to play an essential role in the future of TV and video.

“VR has the potential to bring together people from all over the world and create deeper, more personalised, and more complementary media experiences,” said Anders Erlandsson, senior advisor at Ericsson ConsumerLab. “As consumer expectations for on-demand, mobile and immersive viewing continue to increase, the TV and media industry must focus on delivering highly personalised services in the very best possible quality available.”

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