More People Are Multitasking While Watching TV - eMarketer

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More People Are Multitasking While Watching TV

More respondents are watching two or more programs at the same time

November 16, 2016

Mobile devices have become a companion to many people when they watch TV, whether it’s browsing related content or discussing it socially. And more TV and video viewers are participating in these types of second-screen digital activities currently than did so two years ago.

Digital Activities Conducted Simultaneously While Watching TV by TV/Video Viewers Worldwide, 2014 & 2016 (% of respondents)

Research from Ericsson, a communications technology company specializing in mobility, broadband and the cloud surveyed more than 30,000 internet users worldwide ages 16 to 69 who have a broadband internet connection at home and watch TV and view video on a weekly basis. Generally, the study found that more respondents are conducting digital activities via a smartphone or tablet, while at the same time watching TV, than they did in 2014.

For example, two years ago, less than a quarter of TV and video viewers said they browse the internet, related to the content they were currently watching. Fast forward to 2016, and nearly a third of respondents said they were doing so.

Similarly, in 2014, 15% of respondents said they watched two or more programs at the same time. This year, 20% said they did.

TV/Video Format During Which US Internet Users Are Most Likely to Multitask, Sep 2015 (% of respondents)

Separate data from eMarketer also finds that Americans’ attention is increasingly divided among an ever-expanding array of internet-connected devices, and the number of people multitasking while watching TV continues to rise.

A survey from TiVo also indicates that digital viewers multitask while watching TV. More than half of respondents said live television was the TV or video format during which they most likely multitasked.

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