Pew’s recent research shows that half of all adult cell phone owners in the US, now include their mobile devices into their television watching experiences. Television viewing is being supplemented by multi-screen interactivity. Half of all adult cell owners (52%) have used their phones recently for engagement, diversion, or interaction with other people while watching TV. Pew’s Research measured the importance of these multi-screen viewing experiences by asking the 88% of adults who are cell owners, whether they had used their phone to engage in several different activities while watching television. The findings are as follows:
- 38% of cell owners used their phone to keep themselves occupied during commercials or breaks in something they were watching
- 23% used their phone to exchange text messages with someone else who was watching the same program in a different location
- 22% used their phone to check whether something they heard on television was true
- 20% used their phone to visit a website that was mentioned on television
- 11% used their phone to see what other people were saying online about a program they were watching, and 11% posted their own comments online about a program they were watching using their mobile phone
- 6% used their phone to vote for a reality show contestant
Taken together, 52% of all cell owners are “connected viewers”—meaning they use their phones while watching television for at least one of these reasons.
Smartphone owners use their devices to interact with televised content at far higher rates than owners of more basic cell phones. Fully 74% of smartphone owners reported using their devices in one way or another while watching television in the preceding 30 days, compared with 27% of non-smartphone owners.
Download Pew’s complete report here