HDTV Remains Most Popular Video Viewing Platform, CEA Says

ARLINGTON, VA.: Consumers are still watching TV on TV more than any other platform, the Consumer Electronics Association said this week. The CEA’s latest study, “The Evolving Video Landscape,” indicates that TV remains the most popular platform for watching video in spite of the growth of alternative platforms. The study bears out Nielsen’s quarter cross-platform reports.

“Televisions continue to be the most commonly used device for watching video but other devices are gaining in popularity,” the CEA said.

HDTVs were the most prevalent devices used for video viewing, used by two-thirds of U.S. adults online. 62 percent using a laptop to watch video and 55 percent using a desktop. One-third of consumers are using their smartphones to watch video content, and 17 percent are using their tablets.

One-third of U.S. adults online—34 percent—said they watch more video content today than they did a year ago, the CEA said. Viewing is up 28 percent on TV and 40 percent on mobile devices as compared to a year ago.

Two-thirds of consumers who watch video content on TV said they simultaneously use other electronics. Younger folks—85 percent of 18-24s—are most likely to double up. The radio is 70 percent among 25- to 34-year-olds. On average, U.S. adults reported watching about 3.2 hours of video per day, five days a week.

“Consumers are watching more video than they have in years past and they are seeking devices and technologies that deliver a quality video and audio experience,” said Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s chief economist and director of research. “However, younger consumers accustomed to multitasking are defining new video behaviors as they watch video content across multiple platforms, on their own schedule, all while interacting socially on their devices with their friends.”

Televisions increasingly are being used as displays for content other than TV programming. Among consumers using televisions to watch video content, nearly half—47 percent—also use their sets for other purposes. One in three—34 percent—consumers who use a television to watch video also use their set to listen to music, and one in five—21 percent—uses a television to listen to audio.

Usage also varies by age and the type of display owned. Younger consumers, those under age 25, rely on their TVs more for music, social media, going on the Web and communicating. Consumers with Internet-enabled TVs use their displays in a number of ways as well: 47 percent listen to music, 28 percent use social media, 26 percent surf the Web and 23 percent view photos.

Future television purchases will be based on better picture quality and larger screen sizes as consumers will continue to seek the latest innovations in the market. Almost half—48 percent—of consumers planning to purchase a TV in the next 12 months will be replacing an aging, obsolete or broken set. However, half—51 percent—desire improved picture quality in a new display and half—50 percent—want a larger screen size. One in four—24 percent—consumers with intentions to purchase a TV over the next year expect to purchase a 3DTV; 21 percent plan to purchase an OLED display; and 25 percent plan to purchase an Internet-enabled TV.

While stated purchase intentions do not always translate to transactions, the CEA said its study “clearly shows many consumers have their eyes fixed on newer TV technologies.”

“Easy access to the Web makes TVs more versatile, allowing us to stay connected, informed and entertained,” DuBravac said. “In the future, new technologies, like OLED and 3D, will continue to improve the viewer experience, and Internet-enabled sets will fulfill consumers’ desires to be connected.”

The Evolving Video Landscape Study was conducted between Fe. 22 and March 2, 2012.