Online Content Consumption Shifting from PCs to Tablets

What PC? A growing number of consumers are switching to mobile devices to use the Internet and keep up with their Facebook friends, according to new research NPD Group.

Tablets aren't only selling big, they're also changing the online consumption behavior of consumers.

As devices for online content consumption, PCs are giving ground to tablets like the iPad, according to a new study from market research firm NPD Group. Thirty-seven percent of consumers that once accessed online content on their PCs have switched to tablets and smartphones, said the group in its "Connected Intelligence Application and Convergence Report." Not bad for device classes that are relatively new to the scene.

Web browsing and Facebook use are among top reasons why people are curling up with a tablet instead of sitting in front of their PCs.

Twenty-seven percent of tablet users reported using their PCs less frequently for Internet access while and 20 percent say that they are less reliant on PC browsers to catch up with Facebook. For smartphone owners, 27 percent said that their PCs are being used less for both the Internet and Facebook in favor of their handsets.

And it's not just sleek devices like the market-leading iPad or the popular Galaxy smartphone that are competing for consumers' attention online. TVs are getting in on the act.

NPD discovered that 21 percent of those surveyed have Internet-connected TVs, which are taking over video streaming duties from PCs. Smart TVs and media streaming devices like the Apple TV and Roku are increasingly being used to consume video content directly from providers like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video without getting up from the couch and powering up a computer.

While its lead may be slipping, the PC stills attract eyeballs.

NPD reported, "Internet browsing is still highest among PC owners at 75 percent, smartphones at 61 percent, and tablets at 53 percent. Facebook interaction follows the same rank with PC owners at 63 percent, 55 percent for smartphone owners and 39 percent among tablet owners."

The study hints also hints that an important distinction -- content consumption versus content creation -- is emerging between PCs and mobile devices.

"Despite these shifts in behavior, computers will remain the fundamental content creation device in consumer’s tool box for many years to come. Consumers, however, are switching their entertainment-centric behaviors to tablets, smartphones, and connected TVs at warp speed," said John Buffone, director of devices for Connected Intelligence.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.




Tags: mobile, PC, tablets


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