Tablet ownership outpaces other connected devices in US; create new rev ops for providers

The reports of the demise of tablet ownership growth in the United States appear to be overstated, as recent research from NPD Group shows sales are not only growing, but at a faster clip than any other connected device.

The NPD Group’s Connected Intelligence, Connected Home Report said there were 109 million tablets in use in Q3 2014, up 35 million from last year.

And, said NPD, video is increasingly being watched on tablets.

“Now that the tablet market is unmistakably past the early adopter stage we are able to gain visibility into what the user base is still doing with their devices, and in this case it’s often video focused activities,” said John Buffone, executive director, Connected Intelligence.

Also increasing is the number of video apps available for tablets, said NPD, with more than 66 TV and streaming video apps available for iOS tablets, 60 for Android tablets, 43 for Kindle tablets and another 32 for Windows tablets. NPD said streaming video and watching TV apps are the most commonly used video functions on tablets. Virtually all of the streaming and TV apps NPD evaluated – 66 of 70 — are available on tablets.

While more than half (55%) of tablet owners say they’ve used a video feature on their device, the most avid users – as expected – are younger.

Two thirds of users 18-34 use the video features, compared to 53% of 35-54 year olds, and 45% of users age 55 and older.

“Consumers are demonstrating their willingness to spend time using tablets for a broad set of video features, including their vast library of TV and streaming video apps,” said Buffone.

Ooyala, in its Q3 2014 Global Video Index found mobile views increasingly common, counting for 30% of all video views, and forecast that to reach 50% in 2015.

The uptake of mobile video and tablet viewing provide operators looking to create new revenue streams capable of replacing decaying traditional pay-TV revenue.

For service providers, tablets create an expanded market for data plans. For content owners, the adoption of tablets as a primary screen creates a new market for their assets.

NPD said it surveyed nearly 5,000 U.S. consumers, age 18 and older as part of the study.

Stay tuned.

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