BERLIN: Almost half of German consumers watch television at the same time as surfing the internet, according to new figures.

A study published by BITKOM, the trade association, and GfK, the research group, revealed that 48% of the country's TV audience had browsed the web while enjoying linear broadcast content.

More specifically, 23% of viewers frequently engaged in this form of simultaneous media use, and 25% did so "every now and then".

"It is now standard to consume television and the internet in many living rooms," said Ralph Haupter, a board member at BITKOM.

"Usually this is done not with the internet on the TV but through various other devices - the TV screen on the wall and the laptop on the knees - those are currently the media used."

Indeed, 58% of people utilising these two mediums concurrently typically went online through a laptop, whereas 46% employed a desktop PC.

Mobile phones, anticipated to become a powerful influence on media usage habits as smartphone adoption rates continue to rise, only logged 7% on this metric.

Netbooks scored 6% here, while just 1% of the panel connected to the net directly from their TV or set-top box, and were thus able to see TV and online content side by side.

BITKOM estimated 4m smart TVs boasting such capabilities have been sold in Germany to date, a figure that is forecast to increase.

Popular websites visited when watching TV included services offering live commentary on sporting events like football matches.

Searching for information on Wikipedia, the user-generated online encyclopaedia, or tracking down details about a film on IMDB, the movie website, was also common.

Chatting with friends via digital messages and making video calls were among the other widespread activities undertaken when the television was on.

Data sourced from BITKOM; additional content by Warc staff