Sling Media has yet to reveal how many consumers are using its place-shifting platform, either through retail Slingboxes or via operator-supplied, Sling-loaded set-tops, but the company is shedding more light on how it’s being used.
Unsurprisingly, most Sling users (75%) tap in to watch TV outside the home. And, perhaps surprisingly, the PC still matters. According to Sling, users place-shift about 14.5 hours per month of TV to laptops, versus 5.1 hours on tablets, and just 2.3 hours on smartphones.
And breaking news and live events tend to drive Slingbox usage, with the NFL Playoffs, the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards, March Madness, and news on the Boston Marathon bombings leading to significant spikes.
Most of those trends jibe well with how I’ve been using Sling in recent years, though I’m not sure if my current use case is indicative of the broader marketplace.
For now, 100% of my Sling usage happens out-of-home. One of the last orders of business I conducted before I moved to the Philadelphia area two years ago was to install my Slingbox Pro-HD on a little-used TV in my parent’s house in Denver so I can catch Denver Broncos games that don’t get national coverage. And I’ve found that the quality of the video tends to be better on the PC than on an iPad. Plus, I have the option of viewing those Sling streams on the television by connecting the PC to a TV via HDMI.
Sure, it's a kluge set-up, but it works. And until TV Everywhere truly means access to my TV everywhere and anywhere or until the NFL opens up its Sunday Ticket Package to anyone with a broadband connection, I’ll continue to go with what works.
Or I could just become an Eagles fan, which has much less of a chance of happening than the other outcomes I've listed above.