Ericsson study finds TV viewing increasingly accompanied by social media usage

Social television viewing is fast becoming a mass-market phenomenon, this according to Ericsson ConsumerLab’s annual study of television and video trends.

The report said 62 percent of consumers use social media while watching TV on a weekly basis, an increase of 18 percentage points in one year. By gender, 66 percent of women engage in this behavior, compared to 58 percent of men. Twenty-five percent of consumers use social media to discuss what they are watching while they are watching it.

Ericsson also found that 67 percent of participants use tablets, smartphones or laptops for TV viewing, while 60 percent use on-demand services on a weekly basis.

“Watching TV on the move is growing in popularity, and 50 percent of the time spent watching TV and video on the smartphone, is done outside the home, where mobile broadband connections are facilitating the increase,” said Niklas Rönnblom, a senior advisor with Ericsson ConsumerLab.

Although viewing behaviors and demands are changing, only 7 percent of consumers say they will reduce their TV subscriptions in the future. In fact, Ericsson found that instead of looking to cut costs, consumers are willing to pay more for an enhanced viewing experience. Forty-one percent of said they are willing to pay for TV and video content in HD.

More than half of consumers want to be able to choose their own TV and video content, Rönnblom found. “As the number of screens and services increase, people are eagerly looking for an easy-to-use, aggregated service that can bring everything together. It should allow consumers to mix on-demand and linear TV including live content, facilitate content discovery, leverage the value of social TV and provide seamless access across devices.”

Data was collected in the United States, Brazil, Chile, China, Germany, Italy, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. In all, 14 qualitative and 12,000 quantitative online interviews were conducted representing more than 460 million consumers.