Study Shows That Second Screen Is Popular With TV Viewers

Nielsen research indicates that American consumers are regularly accessing second screens while watching television content. The study found that 28 percent of U.S. adults “sometimes” use a device such as a smartphone or tablet at the same time they are watching TV, while 45 percent say they turn to a second screen “very often” or “always.” Only 12 percent of respondents suggest that they “never” access other devices during TV viewing. Nielsen found that second screens are often being used to complement the TV viewing experience, rather than serving as a distraction.

“The figures go to show how addicted U.S. consumers are to their smartphones — we don’t even put them down when tuning in to a favorite show or to watch a movie,” reports TechCrunch.

However, consumers are not merely distracted with scanning their unrelated messages or social media feeds during commercial breaks. “Sometimes, people may want to actively engage with other fans or participate in an online conversation if they’re watching a TV program or other event live.”

Nielsen’s research found that many consumers are “using the second screen to augment the overall TV viewing experience, not detract from it,” notes TechCrunch.

“For example, 71 percent said they use their device to look up something related to the TV content, while 41 percent said they text, email or message someone about the content. Thirty-five percent said they shop for a product or service being advertised and 28 percent write or read social media posts about the content they’re viewing.”

The traditional prime time hours remain a popular window for viewing content, regardless of the platform or whether viewers are opting for live TV or time-shifted programming. The peak TV hour is 9:00 pm, “with more than half of consumers watching linear TV or interacting with TV connected devices like game consoles or streaming content through Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast or Fire TV.”