Television & the Impact of Smartphones

Smartphones & Television
Nowadays, many claim that the second-screen (phones, tablets, other miscellaneous mobile devices) is now the first screen when viewing TV.

In fact, just this week Bob O’Donnell, the founder and chief analyst of Technalysis Research LLC, wrote an editorial for Re/code in which he discussed “the battle for the second screen,” advocating for the experience of television viewing and device usage to be more closely connected.

According to data from Nielsen which was released on December 3, traditional TV watching is taking a backseat to Internet-connected smartphones.

“It’s pretty clear the increased use of mobile devices is having some effect on the system as a whole,” said Glenn Enoch, Nielsen’s SVP of audience insights.

However, this viewership decline should not be cause for concern.

Just a few days after the publication of Nielsen’s data, the Ericsson ConsumerLab made a striking announcement of their own, after surveying 100,000 customers in 40 countries.

Fifty percent of respondents believe that the very smartphones which are allegedly causing a decrease in TV viewing will become a relic of the past by 2021, which is only five-to-six years away.

"A smartphone in the hand, it's really not that practical. For example, not when one is driving a car or cooking. And there are many situations where display screens are not so good,” said ConsumerLab Senior Advisor Rebecka Cedering Ångström.

Other results indicated a rise in virtual reality utilization will take place for TV viewers.

"Just imagine watching football and being able to choose from where you want to see the game from different places in the stands, or perhaps even from the pitch,” added Ångström.

Michael Björn, Head of Research at Ericsson ConsumerLab, suggested that artificial intelligence will also be a factor in the next decade.

"Some of these trends may seem futuristic,” stated Björn, “But consumer interest in new interaction paradigms such as AI and virtual reality (VR), as well as in embedding the internet in the walls of homes or even in our bodies, is quite strong."

While today, the focus seems to be on dwindling television viewership because of nearby technologies, it seems that tomorrow, future developments will only enhance the viewing experience, and lead to a more in-depth integration between the viewer and the TV. One supposes that the evolution of this viewer-TV synthesis may in fact lead to an increase in television watching.

Author: Brian Cameron

Image via Shutterstock.

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