×

Netflix, Hulu Dominate Mobile TV Viewing

Majority of television content watched on tablets, smartphones happens at home, according to CRE study

The bulk of TV content watched on smartphones and tablets today is provided through Netflix and Hulu Plus — not networks or pay TV providers, according to a new study.

About 64% of TV shows viewed on smartphones and 54% on tablets were via Netflix, Hulu Plus or another online video-subscription service, according to a survey commissioned by the Council for Research Excellence, which is funded by Nielsen. By contrast, just 26% of TV programming on mobile devices was from a broadcast or cable net’s website or app.

The survey shows that networks have “the opportunity to promote their own content and capture that viewing instead of Netflix,” said Laura Cowan, research director of television station group LIN Media.

Meanwhile, cable and satellite providers’ apps accounted for 11% of TV shows on tablets and 10% on smartphones.

TV nets are starting to offer more content on mobile devices, but under the prevailing “TV Everywhere” model live programming and most on-demand episodes are available only to customers of participating pay TV providers. ABC, for example, debuted a test version of its Watch ABC app with a broader rollout set for July.

Today, watching TV shows on mobile devices remains relatively small. Among all TV viewers, only 2% of all TV hours logged were on mobile devices. About 40.9 million Americans today watch video on mobile devices, according to Nielsen.

The study found that the majority of mobile video viewing — 82% of tablet-based viewing and 64% of smartphone viewing — occurs inside the home.

Convenience is the top reason consumers watch TV programming on mobile devices: 49% of participants cited “more convenient” as their top reason for viewing video on a mobile device; 13% said the ability to “watch multiple episodes” drove their viewing; and only 5% cited “fewer ads.”

The study surveyed 5,886 consumers online and included a quantitative phase exploring video-user demographics, as well as a qualitative phase exploring users’ motivations and behaviors via in-home interviews in three markets (Atlanta, Phoenix and Kansas City). The CRE commissioned the study from Boston-based market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey.

Cowan said the CRE will compare results of the measurement used in the study to the various current industry methodologies  to develop a new set of best practices.

Members of CRE, created in 2005, include ABC, CBS, Comcast, Discovery, Google, Hulu, NBCUniversal, Time Warner Inc., Viacom, Walt Disney Co., GroupM, Omnicom and Starcom MediaVest Group.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Breaking Bad Movie

    'Breaking Bad' Movie: Watch the First Teaser for 'El Camino'

    In case you hadn’t heard, Emmy-winning drama “Breaking Bad” is cooking up a movie sequel. On Saturday, after details of Netflix’s project quietly leaked online, the streaming giant issued the first teaser for “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which will be released on October 11. Starring Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, the “Breaking Bad” [...]

  • Breaking Bad

    'Breaking Bad' Movie Release Date, Title and Plot Revealed

    The “Breaking Bad” movie is coming to Netflix sooner than you might think. The film, titled “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” is now set to be released on Netflix on Oct. 11, according to a report from the New York Times, with Aaron Paul returning as the series’ popular meth cook Jesse Pinkman. Jesse [...]

  • Laurence FishburneNational Memorial Day Concert Dress

    Laurence Fishburne to Produce 'Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur' Series for Disney Channel

    Laurence Fishburne is stepping into the animation game. The “Matrix” star is set to executive produce “Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur,” an animated series which has been given the greenlight at Disney Channel. Based on Marvel’s comic book series, the show hails from from Disney Television Animation and follows the adventures of 13-year-old super-genius [...]

  • Aracne

    Chile’s Sanfic, Mexico’s Morbido Fest Pact to Promote Latino Horror (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexican horror festival Morbido and Chile’s Santiago Intl. Film Festival (Sanfic) have agreed on a long-term collaboration intended to strengthen the genre film industry in Chile and across Latin America. This partnership will see Morbido representatives attend the Sanfic industry section each year to aid in the promotion of horror projects and advise those projects [...]

  • 'The Simpsons' Producers on Disney, Spinoffs

    'The Simpsons' Producers Talk Potential Disney Spinoffs, Confirm Apu Will Remain

    “The Simpsons” has never shied away from lampooning Disney over the years, but maybe that’s no longer the case. Homer, Marge and co. are of course now part of the Disney family and made their first appearance at the Mouse House’s D23 Expo convention, where the show’s producers were asked plenty of questions about what [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content