Nielsen: Second-Screens Are Changing Consumers’ TV Habits

Close to half of smartphone owners and tablet owners said they use their mobile devices as a second screen while watching TV, according to a new survey by Nielsen.

Over two-thirds of these consumers claimed to have used these second screens multiple times a week during Q1 2013.

The survey looked at what tablet or smartphone activities consumers are partaking in while simultaneously watching television. The survey aimed to find out if consumers are using second screens while watching TV as mere distractions or if they were trying to engage more deeply with the content they were watching. Nielsen found that the answer was both.

Among tablet owners, 76 percent looked up information in general, 68 percent surfed the web, and 53 percent visited a social networking site. But almost half of tablet owners looked up information on actors, plotlines, athletes, or teams, and 20 percent purchased a product or service that was being advertised.

A much higher percentage of tablet owners versus smartphone owners used their second screen to engage with the show they were watching or to post something about it. About 15 percent of tablet users said they watched certain TV programming because of something they read on a social media site.

Nielsen’s Q1 2013 Cross-Platform Report found that smartphone users spend an average of nine hours every month connecting with social media from their mobile device, while tablet users spend an average of four hours each month.

Image on home page via Shutterstock.

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