Number of tablet, smartphone owners using TV apps grows, says Parks Associates

New research from Parks Associates finds consumers are developing preferences for TV-content apps as a growing number of smartphone and tablet users take advantage of TV-related apps from networks such as MTV, Nickelodeon and USA Network and apps for shows such as Glee” and “The Walking Dead.”

fourteen percent of smartphone/tablet users surveyed in the first quarter of 2013 had recently used a TV-content app, and nearly 75 percent of these users were satisfied with this app experience, the firm found.

The research, “TV Channel and Network App Users,” finds the most-common consumer activities with these apps are watching video, looking up information related to programs and purchasing related music or merchandise. Viewers also use the apps to check broadcast dates and times.

“The latest round of apps is from content providers, not satellite and cable companies," said John Barrett, director, Consumer Analytics, Parks Associates. "They want to increase viewer loyalty to their shows and enhance the viewing experience with second-screen activities, and it is working, especially among Millennials. This 'second-screen' generation is accustomed to consuming content on multiple devices."

Parks Associates research finds Millennials have much higher interest in program/channel-specific apps than do older consumer segments.

“Companies in the television industry are experimenting with several approaches to TV-related apps for mobile devices,” said Brett Sappington, director, Research, Parks Associates. “Some are already noting several benefits, including greater viewer immersion, the ability to appeal to viewers outside of the broadcast window, and new aspects to storytelling. However, the most important implication may be for advertising. As consumers increasingly tune into mobile devices during commercial breaks, these apps provide a way to keep viewer attention.”