What Are Second-Screeners Doing On That Other Display Anyway?

Watching-Tablet-TV-AThere is no way around it -- the personal device is a permanent part of the TV viewing experience now. Among the mobile Web users it surveyed, ad platform InMobi has found that 62% are engaged in some kind of multiscreen activity when the TV is on. By far the largest cluster of activity revolves around person-to-person and social communications. Forty-eight percent of multitaskers are engaged in their social networks, while 46% are doing text or instant messaging with one another. Interestingly, 30% are playing games while the TV is on.

While TV-related second-screen activities are considerably overshadowed by other forms of device activity, you could argue that this still amounts to a considerable amount of linkage between the two screens. For instance, 18% of mobile Web users said that they were searching for information about products that they were seeing on TV. Slightly less, or 17%, were searching for information about the show they currently were watching. And 15% were looking for content unrelated to the TV experience, with 9% who were just shopping.

Not surprisingly, the 20- to-34-year-old Millennial segment is the most active, with 69% of this group engaging. But even so, almost all other categories -- affluent users, young professionals, those older than 18, mobile moms, and techies -- all are almost as frequently dividing their attention between screens.

Comfort levels with mobile advertising also seem to be quite high now. The survey found that 29% claimed they were more comfortable with having ads on their phones and that they even find them useful. Another 30% agreed they were comfortable with the ads but were still getting used to them. Only 20% claimed to find promotions on handsets intrusive.

It is quite possible that along with the migration of Web habits to devices, a certain familiarity with and acceptance of the business models around free content came with it.

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