Guess What? The Most Engaged TV Viewers are iPad Owners

According to new research from Strategy Analytics, iPad owners who watch television on their devices are more engaged in TV shows than people who watch TV in a more traditional way.

When watching television on an iPad, viewers are less likely to be distracted because of the smaller screen size. Viewers who watch on a larger screen, like a television, often engage in second screen activities such as browsing the web on another device.

TV viewers watch television in a more relaxed state, while iPad viewers watch television while conscious and alert.

“Contrary to fears often expressed, emerging tablet behaviors are potentially good news for TV producers, networks, and operators,” said Caroline Park of Strategy Analytics. “Levels of engagement are significantly higher when people consume video content on their personal tablet compared to the TV screen, and if TV companies play their cards right they should be able to drive additional revenues from this increased viewer focus.”

If this research is accurate, perhaps Apple should pour some cash into a similar study.

Lately, it’s been rumored that Apple is trying to score deals with major cable companies in the interest of setting up its own live TV service, which could one day lead to an Apple branded television set.

These content deals have yet to materialize, with cable operators afraid to let Apple into the television arena, but clear evidence that consumers are engaged in television shows on their iDevices could be quite a boon for Apple’s negotiations.

If iPad owners are more dedicated television watchers, it’s possible that the same level of interest would transfer over into Apple’s own future television services. If Apple is able to prove a certain level of engagement when users view television on the iPad, it could result in a lot more interest from advertisers and television companies, eventually leading to the television deals Apple is so desperately seeking.

Gaining live television deals from cable operators would give Apple a secure position in the industry. Current companies with television deals, like Netflix and Hulu, can only deliver content after a delay. Live television only comes bundled, and it only comes with a high price tag. Can Apple change all of that?

It would be great for all of us if Apple could manage to wrangle cable operators into cooperating, because if one company can lead us into the cable-free age, it’s Apple.

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