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Is TV’s Warm Glowing Warming Glow Fading?

Do you think mobile apps will overtake TV one day?

If Homer only knew back in 1994 that smartphone mobile apps would someday start to creep into precious TV viewing time, he probably would have written, ‘No Smartphone and No Specialty Beer Make Homer Go Crazy,’ in the Simpson’s classic Treehouse of Horror V.  It’s no surprise that time spent on mobile apps have overtaken time spent on desktop web usage.  Typical smartphone owners have an average of 41 apps per device, 9 more than they had last year according to the Nielsen report, State of the Appnation – A Year of Change and Growth in U.S. Smartphones.   Mobile app usage has jumped 35% from 94 minutes a day a year ago to almost 130 minutes a day today while desktop web usage dropped from 72 to 70 minutes a day, according to Flurry.  Almost twice as much time mobile app’ing than web browsing.  Many of us probably spend more than two hours a day fiddling with mobile apps.  And the time spent doing that is now challenging our beloved TV viewing time.  Typical smartphone owners have an average of 41 apps per device, 9 more than they had last year according to the recent Nielsen report, State of the Appnation – A Year of Change and Growth in U.S. Smartphones.

mobile-app-tv-consumption Based on United States Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2010 and 2011, Flurry estimates that Americans watch about 168 minutes of television a day.  They expect that tablet and smartphone apps will compete with TV as the primary method for media consumption.  Personally, I think that might occur in many households, but with internet capable TVs and our love of the big screen, I don’t think it’ll go away.  In fact, I think the TV will become more of a communications hub.  Simply a big monitor on the wall that handles video calls, closed circuit cameras, streaming media, broadcast media, web surfing and any other IP related task.  Moving around and mobile, cool…but sitting on my couch, I’d rather look at a larger screen than some 5 inch display.  Just me.  I’ve mentioned in the past that, I think that TVs, cars and any other connected device could be considered BYOD in the near future.  Why wouldn’t a mobile employee want secure VDI access from his car’s Ent/GPS display?  Why couldn’t someone check their corporate email from the TV during commercials?

The category of top apps is also shifting.  While gaming is still the top app at 43% (down from 50%), entertainment apps and utilities gained more of our attention at the expense of games and social networking (30% to now 26% of our time).  Clearly mobile apps are touching many aspects of our life and as more BYOD deployments occur in 2013, there will probably be more business specific apps on our devices and our daily ‘media’ consumption will rise.  Yet, I gotta believe that (at least in the U.S.), we love our televisions so much and I have a hard time thinking that we’re going to shove them aside for something we can carry in our pocket.  At least in the home.  And as more TVs get cameras, are internet ready, have our favorite streaming channels loaded, allow us to check email and can browse the web (all the things a smartphone can do with the processing power), I think we may gravitate back to a family on the living room couch.  Do you think mobile apps will overtake TV one day?

As an aside, I was having a little trouble coming up with a blog topic to start 2013 but anytime I can include a 1990′s reference, a Simpsons quote and BYOD in the same entry, that’s a pretty good start to the year.

ps

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More Stories By Peter Silva

Peter is an F5 evangelist for security, IoT, mobile and core. His background in theatre brings the slightly theatrical and fairly technical together to cover training, writing, speaking, along with overall product evangelism for F5. He's also produced over 350 videos and recorded over 50 audio whitepapers. After working in Professional Theatre for 10 years, Peter decided to change careers. Starting out with a small VAR selling Netopia routers and the Instant Internet box, he soon became one of the first six Internet Specialists for AT&T managing customers on the original ATT WorldNet network.

Now having his Telco background he moved to Verio to focus on access, IP security along with web hosting. After losing a deal to Exodus Communications (now Savvis) for technical reasons, the customer still wanted Peter as their local SE contact so Exodus made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. As only the third person hired in the Midwest, he helped Exodus grow from an executive suite to two enormous datacenters in the Chicago land area working with such customers as Ticketmaster, Rolling Stone, uBid, Orbitz, Best Buy and others.

Writer, speaker and Video Host, he's also been in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cinderella and others.

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