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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : October 21, 2014

Multitasking activity during TV viewing has little to do with the show being watched

Multitasking on other devices while watching television is a well-known phenomenon but, according to new data released by TiVo, the activities being conducted on mobile devices and laptops have little to do with the television program being watched.

by Helen Leggatt

Of the 856 people surveyed for TiVo's 'Multitasking and Social TV Survey', all of whom watched at least seven hours of television each week, more than half (51%) said they multitask every time, or almost every time, they watch television. That's up from 36% in TiVo's 2013 survey.

Furthermore, despite the rise of multitasking while watching television, 47% of respondents' total TV time is spent with their attention focused on the show while multitasking, up from 39% last year.

Overall, 94% of respondents claim to have multitasked while watching television at some point, with smartphones (78%) and laptops (72%) being the most-used devices. During commercial breaks, 56% say they multitask every, or almost every, time.

"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 program's the thing!"

However, very few (5%) said that the multitasking they do during a television show or commercial break has anything to do with the program being watched. Half of respondents said they never, or almost never, engage in TV-related multitasking. Instead, multitasking activities include browsing the Internet (74%), reading or sending email (73%) and text messaging (71%).

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: consumer survey, mobile, multi-screening, television, trends

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