If anyone should know the habits of mobile TV viewing, it's Nielsen, and it just released a new study showing viewership continues to rise. Mobile TV viewing has increased over 20 percent in the last year alone, while internet TV viewing has spiked up an additional 34 percent. Regular TV set viewing was only up 0.2 percent in the past year, so it's clear that mobile and the Web are key areas that are rapidly expanding. Nielsen reported that Americans watched an average of 4.5 hours of content on mobile and tablet devices per month in the past year.
Several factors contributed to the jump in mobile viewing in the past year. First of all, most carriers increased their options for mobile TV, adding new services and enhancing existing ones. Add to this the constantly expanding range of smart phones able to play mobile TV content, more and more Americans now have the technology in the palm of their hand to view what they want. Also, companies continue to expand the amount of content on mobile services, with so much additional competition now, exclusive contracts for content and focusing on a wider spectrum of shows and movies are more appealing to consumers. Lastly, apps have only accelerated the boom, as many companies no longer have to arrange agreements with carriers, they merely have to produce an app that ties in to their streaming service and/or on-demand content, with the added appeal that most of these apps are free and some offer a taste of what is to come if the customer chooses to go for the monthly premium subscription deal.
In another expanding key area, cable television is getting into the act, with companies such as Comcast and Time Warner letting customers stream content to their mobile devices. Networks as well are joining with such recent releases as HBO GO.
Nielsen continues to track the shift towards mobile, and while the average American watched 158 hours of traditional TV per month in the past year, the sharp ramping up of mobile TV viewing numbers shows that viewing on devices is only going to continue to grow.