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Poll: Tablets in half of Finnish homes, usage soars in families with kids

The only surprise may be the speed of change: more and more Finns are relying on tablets and mobile phones to view video programming, as their old TV sets gather dust in the corner. Smartphones and tablets are nearly twice as important to people now as they were last year.

Alakoulualaisia tabletit kädessä luokkahuoneessa.
Suomalainen koulu on maailmalla haluttu vientituote. Image: Yle

TV viewing in Finland is shifting toward mobile devices, confirms a survey carried out for Sonera, one of the country’s two biggest telcos.

In general, Finns are abandoning the traditional television set as a source of content, reports the business daily Kauppalehti on Wednesday.

In an annual poll by the polling company Taloustutkimus, 62 percent of respondents said they could not imagine giving up the internet, compared with just 38 percent for traditional TV. The company interviewed more than 2,000 adult Finns in August.

There was a clear generation gap, with less than one fifth of those aged 18-24 considering TV more important than the net – a view held by more than half of those over age 54.

Within the year since the previous Sonera/Taloustutkimus survey, the household significance of smartphones and tablets nearly doubled. Nearly one third consider smartphones to be extremely important for a pleasant lifestyle at home, up from just 18 percent in 2013. The corresponding figures for tablets were 16 percent, up from seven percent.

Tablet popularity soars

Three out of four of those queried said they watch TV programmes online, increasingly on mobile devices. Still, nearly 90 percent said they watch live broadcasts on conventional TV at least once a week. Sixteen percent watch live broadcasts on laptops, while 14 percent do so on tablets. Twice as many view recorded shows on tablets, which can now be found in half of all Finnish homes.

These midsize portable devices seem to be quickly gaining ground among families with children. Within the past year, nearly one-fifth of such households have begun to consume TV programming via tablets.

Smartphones meanwhile are most often used briefly as content providers while waiting for something and/or travelling on public transport, the survey suggests.

Three out of four of those surveyed said they watch TV programmes online, with 58 percent using YouTube and 29 percent broadband TV. One in five watches paid online TV content from providers such as Netflix. Forty-four percent of households – or some 1.1 million – pay for TV content, with an average bill of 14 euros a month.

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