For the new generation of users, watching television does not only mean lounging on the sofa and flipping channels, it means communicating with peers on social media to get real time feedback or suggestions on a television program. 25 percent of consumers use social media to discuss what they are watching while they are watching it. This was found by Ericsson ConsumerLab when it did its annual study called TV & Video Consumer Trend Report 2012. The report shows that social TV is becoming a mass-market phenomenon.

In fact 62 percent use social media while watching TV which is an 18 percent point increase in one year. Interestingly more women (66 percent) than men (58 percent) engage in this behaviour. Not just that, more and more consumers in more mature markets are also using their mobile devices with larger screen size like laptops, and tablets to catch up on television programs. Sharing some data on the trend, Niklas Rönnblom, Ericsson ConsumerLab senior advisor, said: “Mobile devices are an important part of the TV experience, as 67 percent of consumers use smartphones, tablets, or laptops for TV and video viewing. Furthermore, 60 percent of consumers say they use on-demand services on a weekly basis. Watching TV on the move is growing in popularity, and 50 percent of the time spent watching TV and video on the smartphone, is done outside the home, where mobile broadband connections are facilitating the increase.”

Even though people are using alternate devices to watch television, but not many want to reduce their TV subscription. In fact, instead of looking to cut costs, consumers are willing to pay more for an enhanced viewing experience: 41 percent of consumers say they are willing to pay for TV and video content in HD. According to Rönnblom more than half of consumers want to be able to choose their own TV and video content. “As the number of screens and services increase, people are eagerly looking for an easy-to-use, aggregated service that can bring everything together. It should allow consumers to mix on-demand and linear TV including live content, facilitate content discovery, leverage the value of social TV and provide seamless access across devices,” he explained.

The market study done globally also took data from Asian countries like China, South Korea, and Taiwan. Respondents from these countries were part of the 12,000 quantitative online interviews conducted which represented more than 460 million consumers.