Rise of the second screen: 83% of tablet owners ‘use device while watching TV’

Apr 2, 2013 | Australia and New Zealand, Content marketing, Mobile

Almost half (42 per cent) of 25 to 34 year olds are likely to turn to TV as their primary medium for finding out breaking news, with 66 per cent then turning to the internet to find out more information. Over two-fifths (83%) of table owners are using it alongside their TV, according to a […]

Almost half (42 per cent) of 25 to 34 year olds are likely to turn to TV as their primary medium for finding out breaking news, with 66 per cent then turning to the internet to find out more information.


Over two-fifths (83%) of table owners are using it alongside their TV, according to a new study from the BBC.
The study, from BBC World News and BBC.com and carried out in conjunction with InSites Consulting, surveyed more than 3,600 owners of digital devices, and discovered that 43 per cent of tablet owners watch more TV news than they did five years ago.
The team surveyed tablet owners in key markets including the US, India, Australia and Germany to measure the impact of mobile devices on TV viewing.
InSites claims the majority, or 83%, of tablet owners polled say they are using their tablets alongside watching TV, suggesting that the devices are complementing TV, as second-screening becomes more mainstream.
“Avid news consumers are hungry for information wherever they are and expect to stay in touch on all the devices they now own,” says BBC News global CEO, Jim Egan. “There’s been speculation for years that mainstream uptake of smartphones, laptops and tablets will have a negative impact on television viewing, but this study has found that the four devices actually work well together, resulting in greater overall consumption, rather than having a cannibalising effect.”
TV is still the primary source for consumers globally when news is breaking, accounting for 42% compared to laptops with 29% and smartphones with 18%, leaving tablets with just 10%. The study claims that 66% of consumers will then turn to the internet on a secondary device to follow the coverage from multiple online sources.
TV and mobile devices complement each other because consumers favour them at different times during the day. It seems mobile devices and laptops are increasing the amount of news consumers are watching by allowing them to catch up on news stories throughout the day, as well as when they return home in the evening. The report claims consumer are “layering” their device usage, favouring smartphones and laptops during the day, with usage peaking at 1pm. TV news consumption then spikes “dramatically” from 5pm, peaking at 7pm and notching up 50% more use than any other single device.
Specifically, the BBC notes that it found the following:
– Some 43% of tablet owners say that they watch more TV now than they did five years ago. 83% say they use tablets alongside TV.
– 25-34 year-old professionals are the biggest “news enthusiasts.” But that enthusiasm is still TV-first, other screens second, with tablets remaining distinctly in a secondary, not primary, role. Across all age groups, 42% of news consumption is still happening on TV, with laptops (29%), smartphones (18%) and tablets (10%) scoring in significance.
– Advertising may be appearing in different formats, but users are not surprised by that. The BBC found that “news audiences expect to see advertising nearly as much on mobile.” The exact figures: 79% tablet and 84% smartphone were unsurprised with ads compared to 87% on TV and 84% online. But response times on mobile are still less good. 1 in 7 users said they responded to a mobile ad in the last four weeks with responses to TV and desktop are 1 in 5 and 1 in 4 respectively.
– TV remains first screen. “In breaking news situations, users turn to television as their primary and first device (42%), with the majority (66%) then turning to the internet to investigate stories further. Users rated national and international news of most importance (84%, 82%), closely followed by local news (79%). Financial and business news (61%) were more highly valued than news about sports (56%) and arts/entertainment news (43%).”

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