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Nielsen: 40% use phone or tablet while watching TV


The average American spent more than an entire solar cycle each week – 34 hours – in front of a television set during the second quarter of the year, according to the latest Nielsen Cross-Platform Report. But an increasing amount of that time is spent simultaneously with another screen.

These Americans predominantly use their TV sets to watch live programs, as shown in the chart below, data that should reassure traditional broadcasters. Even DVR playback is a small part of viewing time, followed by watching DVD/Blu-Ray discs and playing games.

It’s worth noticing that nearly 20 percent of TV-watching households have a tablet, and half of the mobile market is made up of smartphones. Those are mainstream numbers, not early-adopter ones. As Nielsen put it, “these devices are omnipresent, and not just among the youth.”

Nielsen quantified that and found that over 39 percent of Americans report using a smartphone or tablet while watching TV at least once every day. More than half – 62 percent – do so multiple times a week, and 84 percent do so a least once a month.

“Tablets and smartphones are proving to be new, novel and potentially necessary utilities, aiding Americans in connecting with the people and content they desire,” Nielsen’s report said, indicating these numbers are likely to continue increasing.

Related links:

Nielsen – The Cross-Platform Report: A New Connected Community

Nielsen – Cross Platform Report 2Q2012

Photo by Flickr user avlxyz, used under Creative Commons license