Two billion mobile and tablet TV and video watchers by 2017

Alex Walls
May 17, 2013

A new report has found that two billion mobile and tablet users will watch television and video on their handsets by 2017.

The sheer amount of devices with Internet connection and better hardware, including faster processors and better displays, as well as the popularity of short, sharable video clips, is the reason so many of us will turn to mobile for our TV needs, Juniper Research has found.

Western Europe would have the most users in 2017, representing a fifth of the global user base, the report found.

Particularly among younger people, mobile would become the main way television and video was watched, with the integration of video streaming services with social networks playing an important role, Juniper Research said.

Streaming services such as Netflix offered a multi-screen experience via smartphones and tablets, which had begun to affect pay-tv providers, as consumers moved from pay-TV to Internet streaming.

“However, many Pay-TV providers, such as Sky in the UK are fighting back with multi-platform strategies of their own.”

The introduction of paid channel trials for YouTube would have “incredible repercussions” in the mobile space since YouTube was preinstalled on a large number of devices, and given Android’s billing options, report author Sian Rowlands said.

YouTube was not guaranteed success however; Juniper pointed out that in 2011, similar paid channels were launched, some of which didn’t garner enough viewers to keep going.

“Furthermore, YouTube has seen limited success with its movie rental service given the foothold which Apple and the iTunes ecosystem has on renting movies to smartphones and tablets.”

Harder, better, faster, stronger

Another factor which will push the number of mobile and tablet viewers was the improvement in handsets.  In developing regions, better displays and processors meant watching video on even featurephones was no longer a chore, and since fixed broadband was often low but wireless device uptake was high, the handset was often the only device in given regions to watch video, Juniper said.

Beware the buzzword

One of the buzzwords in the industry at the moment was ‘social TV’, or the trend of viewers interacting via social networks while their TV played in the background.  App companies, including Twitter, were looking into this trend, Juniper said in its white paper.

About the Author

Share this article