BERLIN: Multiscreening is gaining popularity in Germany, where almost half of all consumers now engage in this activity.

BVDW and IAB Europe, the trade bodies, polled 1,007 web users in the country, and found that 49% frequently accessed the internet while in front of the TV.

This figure had increased by 250% since 2010, indicating how rapidly simultaneous media usage has entered the mainstream.

Uptake levels peaked at 78% among 16-24 year olds, compared with 56% for 25-34 year olds and 52% for 35-44 year olds.

The trend of declining interest as consumers got older was consistent all the way through to over-65 year olds, where the adoption rate stood at 33%.

A 51% majority of female contributors to the survey had also participated in this activity, compared to 47% of men, the analysis added.

"The frequent parallel use of TV and online is a step-change in media behaviour," said Marco Zingler, of BVDW.

"Therefore, companies should consider the potential of multiscreening when planning their communications strategy."

When asked which device they used to go online while media multitasking, computers led the way on 41%, beating smartphones on 9% and tablets on 7%.

Among those interviewees who engaged in concurrent media consumption, some 26% reported that the activities they undertook on the internet were likely to be related to the TV programme they were viewing.

Within this, a 67% share of people who engaged in real-time digital activities linked to broadcast content did so for entertainment content, standing at 57% for news and 51% for documentaries.

Sport posted a more modest 39%, with music on 28% and lifestyle programming on 19%. Advertising trailed behind on 16%, although this beat the European average of 13%.

Data sourced from BVDW; additional content by Warc staff