Tablet computers have become the second TV – major disruption ahead

2 May 2012

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Tablet computers are beginning to disrupt the multi-billion-dollar TV business and by 2016 112.5m US consumers will own one. According to Irish online TV service Aertv, one in four visits have been via a mobile device, with the iPad accounting for 45pc of the mobile devices.

Addressing the Connected TV World Summit today, the director of Magnet-owned Aertv Philip Brodeur said: "People using Aertv are using Apple iPhones and Android smartphones, but especially the Apple iPad, as a way to resolve screen conflicts when family members do not agree what to watch on the living room TV.

“Viewing spikes around sporting events, especially. What is happening is that someone is ‘owning’ the main TV and tablets are very much the second television in the house."

In recent days Aertv launched a sports channel with Ballywire.

Brodeur’s analysis reflects the latest research from Forrester Research which has found that for some consumers, the tablet is not just complimenting television but they are the new television.

Tablet computer usage … even in the bathroom – eek!

Forrester said many tablet owners "are using tablets as personal TVs where they had none before: the kitchen, bathroom, and airports."

Forrester forecasts that 112.5m US consumers will own a tablet by 2016 and tablets are disrupting several multi-billion-dollar industries related to TV, including cable, broadcasting, advertising and consumer electronics.

At the conference, Brodeur said in-home viewing accounts for 80pc of all the viewing on the mobile devices accessing Aertv.

When using an iPad, the average viewing times on the service increases – 12.5 minutes on the iPad, 10.5 on the iPhone and 7.5 minutes for other devices.

He said 80pc of all mobile viewing of the service is done on an Apple device (45pc are iPad users versus 34pc who are iPhone users and 21pc for all other devices).

Live shows and events account for many of the top programmes viewed followed by movies, Brodeur said.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com