TV multitasking has been on the rise in recent years, though it doesn’t always involved activities related to the programming. A recent report [pdf] from Ericsson ConsumerLab, however, suggests that a large proportion of video consumers worldwide engage in TV-related activities on a second screen as part of their viewing experience – and that many do so regularly.
Indeed, 83% of the more than 30,000 consumers aged 16-69 across 24 markets (who have broadband at home and watch any type of TV/video at least weekly) surveyed for the report said that they engage in TV-related activities on a second screen as part of their viewing experience. This was more prevalent among Millennials (92%), though fully three-quarters of those aged 35 and older professed to doing so.
The frequency of TV-related second-screening was also surprisingly high: 35% claimed to do so at least daily, including almost half (46%) of Millennials.
One of the more common activities is browsing the internet relating to the content being watched. Almost one-third (31%) of consumers surveyed reported doing this on at least a weekly basis, up from 23% a couple of years ago. There’s also been a rise in the incidence of online discussions surrounding the content being viewed (19%, up from 17%) and watching two or more programs at the same time (20%, up from 15%).
Presumably the smartphone would be the choice for the second screen, as the study notes that smartphone video viewing has increased by 4 hours per week on average since 2012. While live TV viewing has dipped over that period, it appears to remain the predominant viewing method, though not by a sizable margin.
On average, respondents spend the most weekly hours watching:
- TV series according to a fixed TV schedule (3.9 hours per week);
- Movies according to a fixed TV schedule (3.6 hours per week); and
- Other TV programs (excluding the above as well as live sports and live news) according to a fixed TV schedule (2.6 hours per week).
Still, respondents averaged 2.5 hours per week steaming on-demand user-generated content, and this occupied the single largest share of time for Millennials, ahead even of TV series.
Overall, scheduled linear TV occupies about 40% of total viewing hours per week across all the respondents, relatively unchanged from last year. Short video clips have grown to account for more than one-fifth of viewing hours, followed by streamed on-demand movies, TV series and other programs (~15%).
About the Data: More than 30,000 online interviews were held with people aged 16-69 across 24 markets: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, the UK and the US. All respondents have a broadband internet connection at home and watch TV/video at least once a week. Almost all use the internet on a daily basis.