Varied Usage For Programming, Content Apps

People are regularly using apps from programmers, content providers and OTT companies to consume or supplement the content they would normally get on their TV. Yet, the activities they are choosing are still wide and varied. 

According to new research from Parks Associates, 14% of smartphone and tablet users used a TV-content app in the first quarter of 2013, most commonly to watch video, looking for information related to programming or looking up program information.

Beyond those uses, however, activity drops off significantly, with fewer consumers playing games, reading or making comments about the show or shopping for music or related merchandise. 

“It’s interesting to see what they’re being used for,” Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks Associates, tells Marketing Daily. “The interesting thing is, consumers only regularly use about six or so apps. The question is whether these consumers will expand their app [usage] or include these [programming and content] apps in their top six.”

Among consumer segments, Millennials are much more interested in program-/channel-specific apps than the older consumer segments. Programmers looking to capture Millennial audiences would be wise to develop robust app offerings, he says. 

“Companies in the television industry are experimenting with several approaches to TV-related apps for mobile devices,” Sappington says. “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.”

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