Is smaller the new bigger for watching TV?

New research conducted in the US finds that mobile-TV viewers are more focused on TV content when viewed on their smartphones than on larger devices.

This finding comes from additional analysis of a study conducted by Boston-based market research firm, Chadwick Martin Bailey for the Council for Research Excellence (CRE),

It encompassed nearly 6,000 participants and more than 393,000 TV viewing occasions.

The research found that viewers performed unrelated multi-tasking on other electronic devices during only 14% of the occasions on which they viewed TV programming on smartphones.

This compared to 27% for tablet viewing, 31% for computer (desktop and laptop) viewing and 34% of the television-set viewing occasions, according to study participants.

At the same time, viewers watching a TV show on a smartphone also were more likely to engage in online activities related to that show – such as looking up show information, or posting about the show on social networks.

Such activity occurred during 21% of the television set viewing occasions, 27% for tablet viewing occasions, 31% for computer viewing occasions and 39% of the smartphone viewing occasions.

Additional findings:

  • Mobile TV viewers tend to be younger (mean age 35), higher income professionals with graduate degrees, and reflect more ethnic diversity than nonmobile-TV users;
  • The portion of overall TV-viewing devoted to mobile devices decreases for older mobile-TV users – 28% for users ages 15-to-24, 18% for ages 25-34; 12% for ages 35-49; and 8% for ages 50-64;
  • Mobile TV viewers are often heavy overall TV viewers and are more likely than non-mobile-TV viewers to be TV show opinion leaders and to use social media to talk about TV.

The CRE previously disclosed study findings that 64% of smartphone-TV viewing occurs in the home – reflecting some simultaneous viewing with TV sets, which continue to dominate in-home viewing at 90%.

Away from home, 23% of respondents watch at work,  while 14% of computer-based TV viewing occurs at work, with 8% for tablet viewing and 5% for TV-set viewing.

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Is smaller the new bigger for watching TV?