Latest figures from comScore Networks throw new light on how US consumers use the internet and watch television simultaneously.

According to the data, 48% of surfers are regular TV viewers and have a PC and television in the same room. Of these, 47% frequently use the web and watch TV at the same time, 29% do so occasionally, 18% rarely and just 5% never.

“This study is a wake-up call for media companies, as it reveals a startling connection between television and the internet,” declared Peter Daboll, president of comScore Media Metrix. “The opportunity to deliver integrated programming and promotions is clearer than ever.”

However, integration between web use and TV viewing remains low. Only 15% of people with a television and PC in the same room said they visit a website connected with the show they are watching, while 74% said their surfing habits are unrelated to what is on TV.

“Advertisers,” continued Daboll, “have to understand that viewers are often dividing their attention between two media, making the internet a flexible and efficient advertising platform as users turn their attention to the web during TV commercial breaks or uninteresting programming.

“TV programmers need to understand they are competing against the internet for viewers' attention, and that efforts to extend the TV experience online in some instances could run counter to the way people are using the two platforms in the first place.”

Data sourced from: Daily Research News Online; additional content by WARC staff