Last night, I used a tablet to read the Wikipedia entry on Singing in the Rain as I was watching it on my TV. Apparently, I’m not the only one who does this; according to a new Forrester survey, 85% of people who own tablets use them while in front of the television.
In fact, 30% of tablet use in general happens in front of the boob tube. That would explain the proliferation of social TV apps, from independent apps like GetGlue that let you “check in” to TV shows to branded apps from television shows like TBS’ Conan.
That’s not even counting the use of social media during big TV events. Peruse Twitter during the Oscars or the Super Bowl and you’ll witness a flood of 140-character quips.
Tablets might complement TV, but they aren’t as compatible with things like PCs and books. According to Mashable, a third of respondents said they read printed books and use their PCs less often thanks to tablets. Nearly 25% of respondents said that they read print magazines and newspapers less often after buying a tablet, too.
Now, the poll didn’t ask what the respondents were consuming on their tablets after abandoning books and magazines, so we don’t know whether they were firing up their iPads to read William Gaddis’ The Recognitions or play a few levels of Angry Birds Space. The point is that the publishing industry has to pay serious attention to tablets because once people try them, they want to consume just about everything on them.
Around a quarter of those surveyed said they were less likely to buy a desktop computer after getting a tablet and 45% of them said they weren’t going back to e-readers. The lesson? Tablets aren’t a fad. Take note, publishers and consumer electronics companies who aren’t Apple.