TV Watching and Cellphone Use Go Hand in Hand

Watching TV used to be an event in and of itself, but now people get too bored during commercial breaks, so they turn to another screen to keep themselves occupied: the one on their cellphone.

The Rise of the Connected Viewer,” a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, found that more than half of adult cellphone users use their phones while watching TV. And it’s not too surprising that smartphone owners are more likely to use their phones while watching TV than other cellphone owners.

Overall, 38 percent of all cellphone users get out their phones to keep themselves occupied during commercial breaks, while 35 percent use their phones to visit sites mentioned on TV, and 22 percent use their phones to fact check something they heard on TV.

Here are the top reasons that smartphone owners use their phones while watching TV:

  • Stay occupied during commercials: 58%
  • Fact check something heard on TV: 37%
  • Visit a website mentioned on TV: 35%
  • Text someone watching the same show: 35%
  • See what people are saying online about the show: 20%
  • Post comments about what you’re watching: 19%
  • Vote for a reality show contest: 9%

So it seems that the days of devoting our attention to one technology at a time could be a thing of the past, and that multitasking with different technologies is here to stay - an important thing for marketers to keep in mind.

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