Digital devices complement TV

09 April 2012

NEW YORK: A majority of tablet and smartphone owners now utilise these devices while watching television, new multimarket research has revealed.

According to Nielsen, the research firm, 88% of US consumers possessing a slate like the iPad or Kindle Fire use it when viewing linear broadcast content.

Figures on this measure hit 80% in the UK and 71% among the Italian and German respondents featured in the study.

More specifically, 19% of people across the four markets assessed engaged in this activity "several times a day", peaking at 26% for Americans versus just 12% for their German counterparts.

A further 17% of the tablet audience typically partook in this form of concurrent media consumption once every 24 hours, again hitting a high of 19% in the US, compared with a low of 14% in Italy.

Some 21.5% of the panel combined sitting in front of the TV and accessing their tablet "several times a week", the highest score in terms of specific frequency.

When discussing mixing smartphones with TV in the same way, some 86% of Americans participated in this pastime.

The comparative totals reached 78% for the British panel, 66% for Italian contributors and 65% upon discussing German interviewees.

For 18% of the panel as a whole this took place daily, rising to 27% in the US and 24% in the UK.

Another 21% of those polled combined smartphone and TV usage more than once per week, and 15% did so daily.

"The most frequent tablet or smartphone activity across all countries while also watching TV was checking email — either during a commercial break or during the show," the study argued.

"Yet device owners also seem to engage with content related to the TV as well, either by looking up information related to the show or looking for deals and general information on products advertised on TV."

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff