How People Use Smartphones and Tablets While Watching TV

So you watch TV without another screen to hand? You may soon be in the minority. TV viewing is increasingly becoming a multi-screen experience.

This is especially true for owners of tablets and smartphones in the U.S., 40% of whom use their devices while watching TV on a daily basis, according to data from Nielsen. In fact, only 12% of tablet owners and 13% of smartphone owners say they have never used those devices while watching TV.

What are we doing on those devices? More than half of smartphone or tablet owners are checking email during programs and commercial breaks, while around 45% are surfing the web for unrelated information. Some 42% are visiting social networking sites — a trend that is greater among women — and nearly a third are checking sports scores or looking up information related to the TV program they’re watching.

Fewer than 20% of them are looking up information related to ads they’ve seen on TV. Still, that’s a pretty significant amount.

Unsurprisingly, few ereader owners use their devices while watching TV. Only 14% do so on a daily basis, and nearly half say they’ve never done so. We expect those numbers match the number of people who read printed books while watching TV. Reading simply isn’t as compatible with TV viewing as smartphones and tablets are, particularly with the recent influx of apps designed to be used during programming.

Personally, I was surprised that so many people were using their devices during programming. I’ll frequently turn to my Kindle or check email on my iPhone during a commercial break, but I have a difficult time ignoring programming once it’s on. What about you? How do these statistics compare to your own TV-viewing habits?

Sources: Nielsen,

About Abdul Rahman Alieh

I use this space to share interesting videos and snippets from articles and books I come across. I hope you find this blog interesting. Can't wait to read your comments! Abdul Rahman

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