83% Consumers Still Choose PC Over Mobile To Watch Streaming TV

Although many observers and reports point to tablets and phones as the preferred method of watching internet TV, it seems that those reports could be wrong and that the personal Computer remains the top streaming dog.

PC still top streaming device

PC still top streaming device

The survey by NPD Group  looked at consumer habits while watching online TV, and found that despite the massive publicity given to the rise of tablets and demise of the PC, a massive 83% of respondents were using the computer to watch streaming content.

Speaking for NPD, Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis said, “Despite the attention lavished on tablets and phones, an astonishing 83 percent of free TV streaming programs are viewed on a computer.”

Consumers heading for a free TV fix head to destinations such as Hulu (43%), CBS.com (10%), ABC.com (9%), followed by Fox.com and NBC.com (4% each). Generally, consumers were very happy with their experiences at these sites with over 75% reporting they were likely to return to view more shows.

The survey also showed that in the US standard pay TV still dominates, and online viewing is driven by subscription services (SVOD) and electronic sell through (EST).

But although users want the premium content, free streaming is also popular with the ratio between both being about equal during 2012. This report suggests that as pay TV accounts for 90% of the traditional TV market, watching free TV may be migrating to online services.

The younger generation of adults are driving the move online, as Russ says, “Over half of the viewers for streaming TV are between the ages of 18 and 34, so the YouTube generation is evolving from short-form and user-generated content to TV shows and, like YouTube, they can watch where and when they want.”

It is another blow for those promoting the popularity of tablets and smartphones for TV viewing, it was reported last month that nearly half of consumers prefer to watch Netflix on the big HDTV rather than mobile or PC.

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