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NPDGroup-TV-Related-Second-Screen-Activities-Apr2013Using another device while watching TV has become a widespread activity (something discussed here and here) and while that has the potential to distract viewers, it also provides them with the possibility of enhanced engagement with the content they’re watching. Although research suggests that most multi-screening activities are unrelated, new data from the NPD Group takes a look at what types of related activities are most popular among second-screeners. Among the most common is shopping for a product seen in an ad, by 19.4% of TV watchers who engage in second-screen activities.

That’s behind only learning about an actor/actress (29.8%) and learning about the show/movie (23.1%). The researchers note that shopping for products is most prevalent among laptop users and consumers in the 35-49 age group, and that “converting viewers into impulse shoppers has big potential impact for advertisers.”

Not too far behind the top tier of activities is discussing a show on a social networking site, cited by 14.8% of respondents. That’s a figure worth watching closely – as social TV has the potential to increase engagement. A just-released neuroscience study from MEC and Channel Seven in Australia discovered that interacting with social media while watching TV drove a 9% increase in program engagement among study participants, and that second-screen interaction aided recall of specific elements of the broadcast.

The NPD Group study finds lesser interest in other programming components designed to enhance engagement, though. Just 11.8% have played a game about a show, and 1 in 10 have voted for something on a show. Overall, slightly less than half of the respondents reported engaging in at least one of the 14 related activities identified.

The data also reveals that 87% of US entertainment consumers report using at least one second-screen device while watching TV, which roughly tallies with figures found in other research. The most commonly used devices are desktops and laptops (60%), followed by smartphones (55%) and tablets (49%), findings that also align with previous research.

About the Data: The NPD Group data is from NPD’s “Digital Video Outlook Second Screens Report,” which is based primarily on information from NPD’s survey of 3,387 NPD consumers who reported watching a TV show or movie in the previous week.

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