As digital viewing patterns shift and change, so does the notion of the “living room.” A new report from research firm TDG says that mobile video viewing is poised for big growth over the next ten years -- and as it takes off, more consumers will watch TV solo, rather than as part of a group or family centered about the set. While consumer behavior has, of course, been morphing over the last few years with the advent of new devices and time-shifted viewing, the rise of the mobile device as a handheld TV could signal the greatest shift in social viewing patterns.
TDG found that mobile video viewing on smartphones and tablets will account for more than 20% of total video viewing time in the United States within a decade. Mobile will grow at the expense of traditional TV set viewing and broadband viewing. "The concept of 'watching television' is being redefined, transforming from a social medium characterized by groups of viewers sitting in front of the living room television, to an individual medium defined by solitary viewers watching programs on smaller, more personal devices such as tablets and smartphones,” said TDG in its report.
This change is also occurring because mobile video viewing takes place most often in the home, where about 80% of tablet video time and half of smartphone video time happens, TDG said. Those figures are perhaps the most powerful ones, underscoring how the future of TV will look.
The mobile phone was once thought of as an on-the-go TV, but things are changing. Imagine a living room full of household members, each watching with headphones on their own tablet or mobile phone. That’s the way of the future.
Other reports corroborate the rapid growth of mobile video. Cisco has said recently that mobile data traffic grew by 69% in 2014, and video made up most of that traffic. Within five years, nearly 75% of the content that moves across mobile networks will be video.