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Ericsson: social TV is exploding

Ericsson TV family

Over half of TV viewers are now engaging in social TV activity

The technologists’ predictions are becoming reality: social TV services are taking off in a big way, and viewers truly want TV Everywhere services – at least, that is according to the latest ConsumerLab report from Swedish telecoms equipment vendor Ericsson.

While the report is to taken with a pinch of salt, given that Ericsson sells the relevant solutions, it is nothing if not exhaustive: 12,000 online interviews were conducted in 12 major countries: the US, the UK, China, Spain, Sweden, Brazil, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, Mexico, Chile and Italy.

The results should deliver succour for both operators and technology vendors alike: social TV adoption is hitting the mainstream, with 62% of consumers now using social media while watching TV (up from 44% in 2011); and TV Everywhere services are finally a mass-market proposition, with 60% of consumers watching VOD on a weekly basis.

The report also found that consumers are not cutting their pay-TV packages on a large scale (with just 7% of those polled having done so), and that HD picture quality remains key – 41% of consumers are willing to pay for it.

Mobile devices are also found to be an important part of the TV experience: 67% of respondents use tablets, smartphones or laptops in their everyday TV viewing, both for video consumption and to enable a social media experience.

Women were found more likely to use social networking sites and forums while watching TV, though they weren’t that far ahead of men, which were in turn more likely to discuss what they are currently watching – possibly due to a desire to discuss live sports action as it happens, says Ericsson.

Unsurprisingly, cable and satellite TV services are perceived by many consumers as being too expensive, especially in the US where monthly subscriptions can cost US$ 200 per month or more.

One of the primary reasons for this perception is that people simply do not use most of their channels, according to the study, and would rather cherry pick a limited number of channels and live events for the limited free time that they have at their disposal.

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