Consumers increasingly turn cold shoulder to TV as love affair with tablets, smartphones intensifies, says survey

Has the television reached its zenith and entered a period of rapid decline as consumers look to other devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers, and associated online services to download entertainment?

New findings from Accenture’s new 2012 “Global Consumer Electronics Products and Services Usage Report” conclude just that.
The annual survey found the percentage of con­sumers watching broadcast or cable TV in a typical week on televisions fell from 71 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2011. Additionally, the percentage of consumers who intend to buy a TV set during the next 12 months declined from 35 percent in 2010 to 32 percent in 2011, the report found.
“The battle for consumers’ eyeballs and time is intensifying, viewership continues to disperse, and we are starting to see the impact on the TV as a screen in the home,” said Mitch Cline, global managing director of Accenture’s Electronics & High-Tech Group.

According to Cline, while consumers will continue to buy TVs, their preferences are shifting. “They (consumers) are rapidly substituting other screens, such as laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones, to view media content.”

The use of smartphones and tablets has soared as consumers increasingly seek out ways to consume media on the go. Fifty-three percent of survey respondents own a smartphone, up from 28 percent in 2010. Ownership of tablets climbed to 12 percent in 2011 from 8 percent in 2010. When consumers were asked about plans to purchase consumer electronics devices in 2011 and 2012, the story remained consistent. The percentage of respondents who plan to purchase a smartphone rose from 24 percent to 27 percent; for tablets, the percentage jumped from 8 percent to 16 percent. These consumer electronics devices are increasingly being used for entertainment purposes. For example, 44 percent of tablet owners stream media content, and 43 percent download applications at least once per week.

More than half (56 percent) of the survey respondents indicated they have changed their behaviors due to online services and cloud computing. Thirty-two percent have stopped, or almost stopped, renting or buying DVDs; 25 percent share more personal content with family and friends; and 19 percent access their personal content from more devices than before.

For the online survey, Accenture polled about 10,000 online consumers regarding usage and spending on 19 consumer electronics devices, as well as associated applications and services.