Half of U.S. adults watch TV on non-TV devices weekly, says study

Every day in the United States, more than a quarter of adults watch video on some device other than a television, and more than half do so at least once a week.

The findings, part of new consumer research from Leichtman Research Group, underscore the growing importance of computers, iPads, media tablets and eReaders to the public as content playback and viewing devices.

According to LRG’s “Emerging Video Services VII” report, 27 percent of U.S. adults watch video on devices other than a TV set daily, and 53 percent do so weekly. That is an increase from 14 percent daily and 37 percent weekly two years ago. LRG notes that two years ago, eReaders were not on the list of included devices.

Age plays a big part in who uses non-TV viewing devices. According to LRG, 42 percent of those 18 to 44 years of age watch some type of video daily, and 77 percent do so weekly. That compares with 14 percent daily and 33 percent weekly for those 45 and older.

The research also revealed that non-TV viewing devices are used most often used in — not outside — the home to view content. Among people who watched video on their mobile phone in the past month, 63 percent said they usually watch video on their mobile phones at home. Of those who watched on their iPad, tablet or eReader in the past month, 89 percent said they usually watch video on these devices at home.

"Video watched on non-TV devices and via connected TV sets has significantly increased over the past few years, particularly among younger individuals," said LRG president and principal analyst Bruce Leichtman. "Consumers are generally using these new viewing options to complement traditional TV viewing at home."

Other findings include:

  • 44 percent of all households have at least one television set connected to the Internet via a video game system, a Blu-ray disc player, an Apple TV or Roku set-top box, and/or the TV set itself — up from 38 percent last year, 30 percent in 2011, and 24 percent in 2010;
  • Although 18 percent of all households have a TV connected to the Internet only via a video game system, just 3 percent of households are connected solely via a Smart TV set;
  • Including connected TV sets, 33 percent watch any OTT content daily, and 59 percent weekly — compared to 17 percent daily, and 41 percent weekly two years ago;
  • Including connected TV sets, 29 percent watch TV shows over-the-top weekly; Netflix streaming video households account for 58 percent of weekly TV show viewers
  • 22 percent of all adults stream Netflix video weekly — compared to 4 percent in 2010
  • 80 percent of Netflix streaming users use it to watch TV shows and movies on a TV set, and 53 percent of the group access Netflix via a video game system
  • On a weekly basis, 62 percent of adults use other devices while watching TV, but just 7 percent overall use these devices as "second screens" to interact with the programs being watched.

LRG’s findings are based on a survey of 1240 U.S. households.