Mobile Devices Bringing Families Back to the Living Room

MPP Global Posted by MPP Global on Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Families in the UK are being drawn to the living room once more thanks to the rise in mobile devices, according to a new study from the communications regulator Ofcom.

It said the popularity of smartphone and tablet devices meant children are now leaving their bedrooms and returning to the living room to be with their family.

Some 91 per cent of adults claimed they watched their main TV set once a week, up from 88 per cent in 2002. However, many of them are using their mobile device at the same time, using it for communication purposes such as texting or checking social media.

According to the survey of 3,700 over-16s, most people are now multi-tasking while sitting in front of the TV.

Jane Rumble, Ofcom’s head of media research, said larger TVs were a factor in bringing families together but also pointed to the rise of connected devices, such as smartphones or tablets.

“We’re coming into the living room today clutching those devices, they offer a range of opportunities to do things while we’re watching television,” she remarked.

This has opened up a window of opportunity for eCommerce as consumers can see advertisements on television and use their mobile straight away to locate the product or service and make a purchase.

The research found some people are watching completely different things altogether on video streaming websites. This means families can all be in the same room watching various different content.

Mobile devices mean consumers can make payments online without needing to use a laptop and PC and many companies are devising strategies to make this possible.

The best way to integrate a full range of platforms is to have payment solutions that allow individuals to make payments and log in to their account across several devices as people now use PCs, smartphones and tablets to consume content.

James Thickett, Ofcom’s Director of Research, said: “Our research shows that increasingly families are gathering in the living room to watch TV just as they were in the 1950s … Unlike the 1950s family, however, they are also doing their own thing.”