Multitasking while watching TV is on the rise, reveals TiVo TiVo’s second Annual TiVo Multitasking and Social TV Survey has shown a dramatic increase in multitasking during TV viewing: over half of the 856 survey respondents reported multitasking every time or almost every time they watch TV (51 per cent); compared to just over one third (36 per cent) in last year's survey.
Though TV multitasking may be on the increase, viewers also report an increase in TV viewing as the primary focus: 47 per cent of respondents' total TV time is spent with their primary attention on the TV show while multitasking, versus last year's 39 per cent. Twenty six per cent of their TV time is spent multitasking with their main focus on another task, similar to the 2013 study, and 27 per cent of their TV time is spent only watching TV (not multitasking), down from 35 per cent in 2013.
Despite the pronounced increase in TV multitasking, viewers continue to report that their alternate activities are only rarely related to the programme being watched. Only 5 per cent of respondents report TV-related multitasking every time or almost every time they watch TV, while 50 per cent report never or almost never engaging in TV-related multitasking. Top TV-time activities include browsing the internet (74 per cent), reading or sending email (73 per cent) and text messaging (71 per cent).
"Even given the proliferation of multitasking, viewers remain primarily focused on the television shows they are watching," said TiVo chief research officer Jonathan Steuer. "To paraphrase the Bard, the programme's the thing!"
Online engagement with favourite programmes has indeed become commonplace: 61 per cent of respondents report searching the internet for information about the programmes they watch and 47 per cent have "liked" a show's official Facebook page. However, these activities do not usually occur while watching the programme.
Sixty-three per cent have noticed Twitter hashtags displayed during television shows, but of this group, only 12 per cent liked seeing hashtags while 53 per cent disliked them. A similar trend occurs with onscreen polls; 37 per cent have noticed them, and within this group, 20 per cent liked and 45 per cent disliked the polls.
Other key findings include:
- Ninety-four per cent of respondents reported that they have multitasked while watching TV
- The smartphone (78 per cent) and the laptop (72 per cent) are the two most popular devices used while watching TV
- Fifty-eight per cent of respondents reported that they use another device almost every or every time they watch TV
- During commercial breaks, 56 per cent of respondents report multitasking every time or almost every time
- Twenty-five percent of those surveyed said searching the internet for information about a programme is the top activity that increases their enjoyment of TV; reading episode recaps and reviews comes in second at 10 per cent
- Only 22 per cent reported ever posting on social media sites about shows they watch; 5 per cent of all respondents do this a few times a week or more
- Of those who do post to social media about their TV favourites, the majority (71 per cent) selected Facebook as the site they most commonly post about TV; Twitter came in a distant second with 24 per cent
This story also appears on IBC’s Content Everywhere.