As is often the case in Internet history, shifting audience behaviors revealed themselves most starkly during last week’s Election Night coverage when 27% of voters relied on both TV and Internet to follow the returns. According to Pew’s Internet & American Life survey of almost 1,000 voters last week, only 6% said they monitored returns only on the Internet, while 65% relied on TV exclusively.
Consulting both TV and Internet during the course of the evening was most pronounced among the 18- to-39-year-old segment, where 39% “dual screened” the election, as Pew tags the practice. In fact, for the under-40 crowd, it was almost as likely they would track returns on two screens as on TV alone (45%). And 28% of those ages 40 to 64 also used both media during the course of the evening. In fact, it was only in the 65+ segment where the dual-screen behavior was negligible (9%).
There is a sharp digital divide in two-screen behaviors based on educational levels. Dual-screening the returns was strongest among voters with college degrees (36%) and some college education (28%), compared to those with high school or less (14%). And when it came to candidate preference, Obama voters had a clear lead, with 30% of them engaging both TV and Internet compared to only 24% of Romney voters.