CTAM: Video App Usages Boosts Viewer Engagement

Video apps are likely to lead to greater engagement with TV viewing, with roughly 85% of video app users reporting that they are watching the same or more TV since starting to use video apps, according to a new study that was commissioned by the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) and conducted by Nielsen.

Respondents also reported that apps can enhance viewing of regularly scheduled TV, with nearly half (46%) report being more engaged with the programs or networks associated with the video apps after accessing them. About 35% reported that video app usage causes them to visit the network or program website associated with the video app more than they had before they using the app.

The CTAM study also provided good news for the growing number of programmers that are creating "Sync-to-TV" apps, which provide additional content and interactive features on a mobile device or tablet that is synched up to the viewing of a program on a TV.

The study found that users of these synch apps increased consumers' engagement with television programming and advertising rather than distracting from it. One sync-to-TV respondent commented, "It made a difference because it was right there [on my lap]. I don't have to go to the website and type out the URL or go searching for the same thing on my browser."

In addition, 63% of respondents said that "free or low subscription rates" was the most important attribute for a video application like Hulu. In addition, 65% of video app users reported that word-of-mouth plays an important role in deciding which video apps to use.

"The results are encouraging, including the finding that consumers are open to advertisements on apps in exchange for a free or a lower costs service and generally even more receptive to ads on tablet apps," said Indira Venkat, senior vice president, strategic research and consumer insights, The Weather Channel Companies, and member of the CTAM Research Committee overseeing this study in a statement.

The survey also covered where people were using the apps, finding heavy usage at home, with about 78% of tablet owners reporting they used apps at home and 55% of smart phone owners using apps in the car.

Usage on planes was relatively low, however, with only 18% of smart phone owners and 27% of tablet owners reporting they had used video apps on planes.