Media tablet ownership among American consumers is on the rise, and growing at a faster rate than that of any other connected consumer electronics device. According to the NPD Group, as of the third quarter of 2014, there were 109 million tablets in use -- that's up by 35 million from last year.
"Now that the tablet market is unmistakably past the early-adopter stage we are able to gain visibility into what the user base is still doing with their devices, and in this case it's often video focused activities," said John Buffone, executive director at NPD Group.
Moreover, 55 percent of U.S. tablet users report leveraging a video feature of their device. This includes video calling; taking, posting, and uploading videos -- as well as watching video from a streaming service or app from a TV channel or pay TV provider.
Video feature usage is even more prominent among younger consumers. Two-thirds (67 percent) of tablet users aged 18-34 use these video features compared to 53 percent of 35-54 year olds, and 45 percent of users age 55 and older.
Furthermore, watching video content from a streaming service, such as Netflix, or TV channel app is the most common video focused behavior.
Through tablets, consumers have access to nearly every top TV and streaming video app and this is contributing to utilizing tablets as a TV.
According to the NPD Group market assessment, 66 of the 70 TV and streaming video apps evaluated are available on tablets. iPads have the most (66), followed by Android tablets (60), Kindle Fire (43) and Windows tablets (32).
"Consumers are demonstrating their willingness to spend time using tablets for a broad set of video features, including their vast library of TV and streaming video apps," noted Buffone.
This provides an opportunity for mobile network service providers to promote features such as on-the-go video calling, TV viewing and ability to socialize videos as a reason to attach a tablet to their data plan.
Promoting these popular activities could help perpetuate the significant growth in tablet mobile data plan connections already experienced this year.