Digitalsmiths Finds Tablets a Threat to Pay TV

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Is the growing use of tablets a concern for cable and satellite providers? In a 2013 Q1 research report targeted at pay TV operators, video metadata specialist Digitalsmiths surveyed over 1,850 consumers in the U.S. and Canada to answer that question and more.

Digitalsmiths found that 33.4 percent of respondents owned a tablet, up 5 percent from the company's first study in 2012 Q4. Tablet use can lead to greater TV Everywhere use, which ties viewers to their pay TV operators, but also adds competition. Looking at connected devices, the study found that 29 percent of connected TV and Blu-ray Player owners access subscription video-on-demand or video-on-demand services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.

Pay TV operators are responding to the threat from video services and apps by increasing TV Everywhere offerings. Digitalsmiths' survey found that 26 percent of tablet owners have their cable or satellite provider's app downloaded. Of those people, only 18 percent use the app and 6 percent use it daily.

The study found stronger usage among third-party social TV and TV network apps: 15 percent of tablet owners have downloaded social TV apps, and 30 percent of those people use the apps daily. Also, 32 percent of tablet owners have downloaded TV network apps and 22 percent use them daily.

In the report's recommendations, Digitalsmiths notes that pay TV operators need to pay more attention to TV Everywhere apps, but shouldn't do so at the expense of the traditional TV viewing experience, since television is still the primary viewing method.

The full report is available for free download (registration required).

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