Report: TV viewing is becoming a more singular experience

New research posits that television viewing is transitioning to an “individual medium defined by solitary viewers watching programs on smaller, more personal devices,” from the more communal event it traditionally was.

And, according to the report from The Diffusion Group, smartphones and tablets will become more of a focal point for viewing, eventually accounting for more than 20% of total viewing minutes among U.S. consumers.

The transformation represents the replacement of legacy pay-TV and broadcast platforms by personalized video apps, some of which are already generating half of their total video traffic from such devices.

“The concept of ‘watching television’ is being redefined,” said Espelien, “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.”

TDG said the evolution is being driven by a combination of factors, among them the strong personal relationship between consumers and their mobile devices.

Despite the “mobile” tag, most mobile video is being watched in the home, Espelien writes.

“According to February 2015 TDG research, close to 80% of tablet viewing and 50% of smartphone viewing takes place in the home,” he said. “It’s less about ‘mobile viewing’ as commonly imagined and more about the individualization and personalization of TV itself.”

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn