Primetime TV Viewers Scan Channels and Multitask

Primetime TV Viewers Scan Channels and Multitask

A Knowledge Networks study of television viewing habits shows that primetime TV viewers increasingly switch channels, multitask while watching, and personally select the programs they see. A comparison to earlier studies using the same methodology indicates dramatic changes in the primetime viewing experience over the past 10 years.

David Tice, Knowledge Networks' Vice President, said "Primetime television is still a powerful presence in consumers' daily lives, but ... the television audience is searching for more ways to control the viewing experience, to make a place for TV as part of their increasingly hectic lifestyles."

The report, "How People Use Primetime TV 2004", shows that:

  • 41% of primetime viewers turn on the TV to watch a specific show "most of the time"
  • 45% of primetime TV viewers are watching TV by themselves, versus 31% a decade ago*
  • 47 percent of viewers switch channels during some part of a program
  • most commonly because a program ends or to skip a commercial
  • as compared to 33 percent in 1994
  • the proportion of viewers doing other things, such as talking, snacking or reading while watching primetime TV, has increased slightly since 1994, from 67% to 75%
  • one third of primetime viewers watch primetime TV out of their homes at least once a week, most commonly at friends' or relatives' homes
  • 47% percent of the respondents believe that primetime advertising is better than other daypart advertising at making them aware of new products
  • videogame use during primetime increased from 1 percent to 6 percent in the past ten years.

* Comparisons to 1994 are for the 8PM-9PM hour only

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