63% of live TV viewers and 66% of DVR TV viewers say they used another device at least once the last time they watched TV, with the most common device used being a computer (53% and 50%, respectively), according to [pdf] a May 2012 report from the Internet Advertising Bureau. 16% of live TV viewers and one-quarter of DVR TV viewers said they used a smartphone to multitask, while tablet use was reported by 9% and 14%, respectively. Despite a computer being the most common device used for multitasking, smartphones users were the most likely to interact with others about TV-related content (45%), ahead of tablet (30%) and computer (21%) users.
Indeed, according to the IAB’s “Screens to the nth,” those using smartphones while watching TV (“smartphone multitaskers”) outpace those using tablets and computers in a number of program-related areas. For instance, they are about twice as likely as tablet multitaskers to text, email, or IM with friends about the show (23% vs. 12%), and more than three times as likely to voice chat with friends about the show (20% vs. 6%). Smartphone multitaskers are also the most likely to social network with both online communities (20%) and friends (15%) about the show.
According to May 2012 survey results from Horowitz Associates, 6% of TV viewers with internet access at least occasionally interact about a show on social media in real time, rising to 8% among 18-34-year-olds.
Data from the IAB report indicates that smartphone multitaskers aren’t only more likely to talk about a show they’re watching, they’re also far more likely to perform a social activity related to an ad they’ve seen. In fact, 37% report having done something related to an ad, roughly double the proportion of tablet (16%) and computer (18%) multitaskers who have done so.
The most common ad-related activity for smartphone multitaskers is texting, emailing, or instant messaging with friends about ads (22%), followed by social networking with online communities about ads (16%), voice chatting with friends about ads, and social networking with friends about ads (both at 13%). Tablet multitaskers are most likely to social network with friends (9%) about ads, while computer multitaskers are most likely to social network with online communities (10%).
About the Data: The IAB “Screens to the nth” study is based on data collected and analyzed by Ipsos MediaCT in partnership with the IAB. The study used a combination of sources including LMX, a single-source, 2-wave media diary of 7500 consumers examining device ownership and when, where, and how new and traditional media is consumed, along with HearWatchSay, Ipsos and IAB’s online community of 5000 media-savvy individuals.
The other IAB study was conducted by Econsultancy on behalf of the IAB. It was fielded online on April 19, 2012 to a Survey Sampling panel comprised of US consumers ages 18 and over. Tablet owners were over-sampled to ensure sufficient data for that audience. The survey closed on April 25, 2012 with 1,851 qualified responses.
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