Among those who report having ever multitasked while watching TV, 61% use smartphones most frequently, and 6% use portable gaming systems least frequently. However, numbers drop when asked about frequent device usage while watching TV. 24% of respondents report using smartphones every time or almost every time they watch TV.
Other Devices Used While Watching TV (% of Respondents)
Almost Always Used
Portable game system
Source: Tivo, January 2014
Though many respondents report using the Internet to find content related to their favorite shows, only 27% said they do so while watching their programs. Rather, online activity more often occurs after watching a program; 14% report turning to the Internet immediately after watching, and 32% search for related TV content on the Internet sometime during the following week.
Internet Activities Related to TV Shows
During the Week
Searching Internet for information
Read episode recaps or reviews
Read Facebook posts
Use social media sites to read about what people are saying
View or listen to bonus online content
Read online message boards or forums
Post on social media sites
Read tweets from TV show related Twitter accounts
Source: Tivo, January 2014
Additionally, the survey found most TV viewers are not using the Internet (not including social media) to connect with others to discuss TV shows. 61% of TiVo users and 55% of non-TiVo users agreed with the statement: "I only want to discuss TV with people I know, not with Internet strangers." 43% of social media users also agreed with this statement, preferring to turn to their social networks versus open Internet forums to interact with others to discuss TV programming.
With more networks and specific shows encouraging viewers to live tweet or follow along with Twitter conversations via hashtags, 68% of respondents who are TiVo users said they actually notice TV hashtags. That said, of those TiVo users who notice hashtags, 63% said they don't like seeing them during shows, while only 3% said they liked seeing them.
One quarter of all viewers reported actively avoiding the Internet until they watched certain episodes, to ensure missing spoilers like which participants were voted off the island or fired. Some shows demand viewers' full attention due to complex plot twists or dialogue. 73% of survey respondents agree that "there are certain shows that are so important to me or so tricky to follow, I make sure not to do other things while I am watching them."
TiVo conducted this online survey of 1,660 households from October 16 - November 7, 2013. Of the participants, 40% were TiVo subscribers, 48% non-subscribers and 12% were recruited from social media sites. All survey participants were over the age of 18 and watched at least seven hours of TV per week. The composition of the survey was consistent with the U.S. in terms of household income and age range.
For additional information about the study, or about TIVO, please visit here.