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Mobile devices overtake TVs in the bedroom

Motorola Mobility’s study of 9,500 global consumers found that a majority of respondents who view video programming in the bedroom use their smartphones and tablets versus broadcast TV.

Motorola’s Media Engagement Barometer looks at the video consumption habits of 9,500 consumers across 17 countries.

(Credit: Motorola)

What are wired people around the world doing in the living room and bedroom? Consuming content on their mobile devices, according to Motorola Mobility’s Fourth Annual Media Engagement Barometer. Consumers globally are watching 25 hours of TV and film programming per week on average, up from 15 hours in 2011.

Fifty percent of respondents said they watch programming on their TVs in the living room, while 40 percent use their smartphones or tablets instead, the study found. The Motorola Mobility (owned by Google) survey of 9,500 consumers in 17 countries found that among the 36 percent of respondents who watch video programming in the bedroom, 46 percent view it on a smartphone, 41 percent on a tablet, and 36 percent on broadcast TV. Moreover, 9 percent of tablet owners and 16 percent of smartphone owners are consuming content in the bathroom, according to the study.

More than 50 percent of those surveyed have downloaded or stored a TV program or film on a mobile device.

An expected finding is that consumers want more flexibility across a variety of devices in how they view programming. Among those surveyed, 76 percent indicated that they want the capability to move video content between devices automatically.

Skipping ads is a major reason people choose to record programming. According to the study, 68 percent globally and 75 percent in the U.S. indicated that they record broadcast TV to skip ads. This trend presents an ongoing challenge to the TV networks.

Fox, CBS (the parent company of CNET), NBC (Comcast), and ABC (Disney) have filed separate suits against Dish Network over the AutoHop feature in its DVR. The networks maintain that the ad-skipping feature will destroy the advertiser-supported ecosystem and that Dish doesn’t have the right to tamper with advertising from broadcast replays for its economic and commercial advantage. Dish claims that the AutoHop feature doesn’t infringe on copyright. The technology doesn’t alter the broadcast signal and the ads are not deleted from the recording.

Time-shifted TV accounted for 29 percent of weekly viewing in Motorola’s study. While, on average, DVR owners watch more TV than those who watch live TV, nearly a third of recorded content is never watched. Among U.S. people surveyed, 41 percent of recorded content is never viewed. Even so, driven by the flood of quality programming across broadcast and cable networks, TV viewing rose from 10 hours in 2011 to 19 hours per week. Movie consumption rose from 5 to 6 hours per week. The U.S. topped the list of countries in the amount of programming it watches, with 23 hours of TV and 6 hours of movies consumed weekly.

Among the other findings:

  • 77 percent of those surveyed indicated they record programming because of conflicts with live programming they want to watch.
Among those surveyed, 46 percent used smartphones — and 41 percent tablets — in the bedroom, compared to 36 percent for broadcast TV.

(Credit: Motorola Mobility)

  • 72 percent said they record to store the full series of a program.
  • 68 percent have deleted content because they have run out of storage room on their devices.
  • 50 percent of those surveyed don’t engage in social media activities while watching programs. However, 60 percent of 16- to 24-year-old respondents follow social conversations while viewing programming.

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