BERLIN: Almost three-quarters of internet users in Germany now regularly access this medium at the same time as watching television, new figures show.

BITKOM, the digital industry body, commissioned Goldmedia, the research firm, to poll 2,000 members of the country's online population, 77% of which frequently went online at the same time as enjoying linear broadcast content.

More specifically, 51% of respondents surfed the net on a laptop, netbook or other portable computer while in front of the TV, hitting 35% for desktop PCs and 21% for smartphones.

However, 82% of contributors revealed that the material they browsed on the web when engaging in concurrent media use was typically unrelated to the programme that they were watching.

Another 30% of interviewees expressed an interest in being able to connect with TV shows online, and around 20% already undertook this activity.

"The internet is an interactive channel for television programmes," said Bernhard Rohleder, BITKOM's chief executive. "Viewers are looking for additional programme information from the makers of shows, or to exchange opinions directly with their friends about what they watch."

In keeping with such trends, BITKOM predicted that sales of "networkable" consumer electronics, mobile devices and computers should increase from €16.2bn last year to €18.3bn in 2012.

This means consumers could account for a 65% share of information and communications technology product sales.

"The networking of computers, smartphones and televisions is more and more in the mainstream," Rohleder said.

Data sourced from BITKOM; additional content by Warc staff