For Tablet Users, Online Video Trumps All Other Content Types

July 27, 2012, 10:00 am

Fifty-four percent of tablet users watch online video on their tablet on a weekly basis.

It may be no surprise that tablet users are embracing online video in a big way. According to a March 2012 study by the Online Publishers Association (OPA) and research consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates, accessing content and information was the top reason US tablet users reached for their devices, at a considerable 94%. Video was the most popular content that tablet users sought, followed by getting weather information and local news.

Business-related content, such as financial information and checking the stock market, fell fairly low on the list, indicating a more entertainment-focused device experience for most users.

Short-form news and entertainment videos trumped long-form movies or television shows as the most popular videos watched by tablet users. A lofty 92% of those who consumed video on their tablet said they viewed short-form news and entertainment videos on a regular basis. Moreover, 64% viewed user-generated videos, like YouTube videos, on a regular basis. Fewer than half of the respondents said they watched full-length TV shows and movies on their tablet regularly. This suggests that tablet users are more apt to snack on the device—use it for short periods of time, as opposed to hour-long blocks.

In general, tablet users watched video more frequently than smartphone users. According to an April comScore MobiLens study, 53% of US tablet users watched mobile video or TV at least once that month, compared to only 20% of smartphone users. This is likely because of the tablet’s larger screen size and its role as a couch companion.

eMarketer projects nearly 70 million US consumers will use a tablet by the end of 2012. By 2015, over half of all internet users will be tablet users. This tablet growth rate means that video is also likely to flourish. As marketers consider their tablet video strategies, they should keep in mind that shorter video content is consumed on a more regular basis than long-form content.


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