Streaming in Everyday Life

We conducted a multi-country study of tablet use for a large technology company to understand how people use iPads at home and in mobile settings. We learned that tablet use is embedded in a range of activities with intriguing personal meanings and social dynamics. Insights included:

  • Compared to TVs and PCs, tablets carry a “halo of goodness” that reduces negative feelings of over-use, addiction, and time-wasting.


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The Rhythm of engagement

In a project exploring how media companies engage their customers with streaming content, we learned that viewers are sensitive to the rhythm of engagement. They seek emotional space in some moments and direct engagement in others. Spaciousness after a story's end, for instance, allows calm, contemplative viewers a chance to disengage, relax, reflect, and sometimes savor the content they just viewed. We concluded that media companies should explore the rhythm of engagement that suits their customers' needs.

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Streaming a mood

In an internal project to deepen our understanding of streaming behavior, we learned that mood plays a powerful role in content choice. People seek mood-congruent and mood-altering content and use well-known genres (e.g. comedy, thriller, drama, etc.) on popular streaming sites as inadequate and sometimes frustrating means to get there. Viewers find that genre often doesn't predict the mood of a movie and doesn't help them target a range of other feelings, like gratitude, whimsy, sincerity, etc.