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TV users gravitate towards dedicated apps

In a move that could have profound ramifications for programming, more research has confirmed the trend that TV users are increasingly turning to dedicated apps to access TV channels.

According to a new survey by Parks Associates, as many as 14% of smartphone/tablet users recently used a TV-content app in the first quarter of 2013 and three-quarters of these users have expressed satisfaction with what they have accessed.

Perhaps revealing the demographic that is driving the trend, the analyst also revealed that the most popular apps were those from networks such as MTV, Nickelodeon and USA Network as well as apps for shows like Glee and The Walking Dead.

“The latest round of apps is from content providers, not satellite and cable TV companies," said John Barrett, director, consumer analytics, Parks Associates. "They want to increase viewer loyalty to their shows and enhance the viewing experience with second-screen activities, and it is working, especially among Millennials. This 'second-screen' generation is accustomed to consuming content on multiple devices."

Parks Associates also found that this group has much higher interest in programme/channel-specific apps than do older consumer segments. It cites shows such as Gossip Girl, which it says aims for a Millennial audience and which offers an app enabling viewers to watch show-related videos and virtually tour show locations.

“Companies in the television industry are experimenting with several approaches to TV-related apps for mobile devices,” added Brett Sappington, director, research, Parks Associates. “Some are already noting several benefits, including greater viewer immersion, the ability to appeal to viewers outside of the broadcast window, and new aspects to storytelling. However, the most important implication may be for advertising. As consumers increasingly tune into mobile devices during commercial breaks, these apps provide a way to keep viewer attention.”

From the article, "TV users gravitate towards dedicated apps."

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