Consumers are no longer content to sit in front of the TV at home and watch their favorite shows. New research finds that more people are using the latest technology such as tablets to enjoy televised programming where they want and when they want.  As consumers begin to shift their TV viewing habits, marketers must rethink how they are allocating their media budgets.

Horowitz Associates has released its annual State of Cable and Digital Media report. This year, analysts focused on Other Than TV (OTT) devices and their appeal to specific demographic groups. For example, over 30% of urban consumers are now watching TV via OTT devices. These devices range from mobile phones and tablets to Xboxes to streaming on the Internet. The report also shows that multicultural urban viewers are most likely to use OTT devices:

  • Asians: 41%
  • Hispanics: 37%
  • Blacks: 35%
  • Whites: 25%

Consumers who watch TV programming on alternative platforms say about 15% of their viewing time is spent this way.  And 14% of black and Hispanic consumers watch TV via mobile devices on a weekly basis.

In a report released earlier this spring, Horowitz Associates reported that over 80% of 15-17 year olds viewed TV programs on computers or mobile devices on a monthly basis. Adriana Waterston, VP of Marketing at the firm,  says that while only a small amount of TV viewing time is being spent on alternative platforms,” we anticipate that multiplatform TV viewing will continue to grow.”

As this growth occurs marketers may need to adjust the kinds of media buys they make and optimize ad formats to suit different viewing platforms.

[Source: Four in Ten Consumers Watch Broadband/Mobile TV at Least Once Monthly. TheStreet.com. 24 Feb. 2011. Web. 21 Mar. 2011; Nearly One-Third (31%) Of Urban Consumers Access Alternative Sources for TV, Weekly. HorowitzAssociates.com. 11 Mar. 2011. Web. 21 Mar. 2011]