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TV Viewers Pick Up More Devices to Watch Shows

More than nine in 10 consumers use another device to watch videos, in addition to a television

June 28, 2012

Viewers are spreading their video consumption habits across a growing list of devices—TVs, PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones, to name a few. A study by media and marketing research firm Arbitron shows that consumers are taking full advantage of these new options.

Arbitron, along with the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM), tracked the media habits of 500 US adults from November 2011 to January 2012. They found that 91.7% of participants had accessed video content on another device besides a television. Those opting for multiple-screen content consumption were most often using a TV and a PC. The next most popular combination was that of a TV, PC and an Android or BlackBerry device, at 35.5%. Only 7.3% of respondents said they used a TV and Android/BlackBerry combination to access video content.

Devices Used to Access TV and Online Video* Among US Consumers, Jan 2012 (% of respondents)

Despite the growing use of second- and third-screen devices, TVs remain the dominant way that people get their video fix. Arbitron found that study participants spent 90.2% of their video-viewing time watching on broadcast and cable TV, compared with 9.3% of their time getting video content on a PC with access to video sites. Participants spent a meager 0.5% of their time watching videos on Android or BlackBerry mobile devices.

US TV and Online Video Viewers*, by Device, Jan 2012

And just because consumers are watching, it doesn’t mean their attention is focused. Fully 93% of those who watched programming on a PC were also using email, conducting searches or on social networks at the same time. That compared with 90% of TV watchers who were engaged in other online activities, and 78% of those watching videos on mobile devices. The higher multitasking rate among PC users is likely due to the devices’ larger screens and web capabilities.

However, the study failed to account for the consumption of video on tablets, such as the massively popular iPad, which combine larger screens with the online functionality of a smartphone.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Retailers Expand Pickup Options and Reap Benefits” and “Internet Users in Brazil Are Young and Social.”


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