Only a minority of consumers are using specially designed companion apps on laptops, tablets and smartphones while watching TV. While multitasking is pervasive, most viewers aren’t using their devices to interact with second-screen apps, inviting users to check in for rewards, participate in play-along games and polls, and other activities tied to specific TV shows.
The study by NPD Group found that among viewers who use second-screen devices, nearly half (47%) have engaged in second-screen activities.
The most common TV-to-screen interaction was learning more about the program they were
watching, including learning about actors who appear in a show or movie. People most often turn to IMDb, Wikipedia and social networks rather than apps intended to enhance the second-screen experience
like Viggle, Zeebox and others.
“This situation creates a potential diversion from advertising, and it will take a combined effort from content owners, advertisers, broadcasters and others to present an aligned second-screen experience that will appeal to viewers,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis at NPD.
The study found more promise in people shopping for products seen in TV commercials, which was the third-most-popular second-screen activity. In particular, laptop users 35 to 49 were the most likely to shop for products on their devices. “Converting viewers into impulse shoppers has big potential impact for advertisers, who can leverage second screens to further connect with consumers watching TV,” said Crupnick.
NPD indicated that nearly all (88%) of U.S. households owns at least one device that can be used as a second screen, with 87% of entertainment consumers reported using at least one device while watching TV. PCs were the devices most used simultaneously with TV (60%), followed by smartphones (55%) and tablets (49%).
The findings were derived from NPD’s “Digital Video Outlook Second Screens Report,” based primarily on information from NPD’s survey of 3,387 NPD consumers who reported watching a TV show or movie in the previous week.