Multitasking On The Rise Among TV Viewers

As multitasking continues to rise, viewers are distracted from TV programming and advertising content while they are using another device.

Simultaneous usage of digital devices while watching TV -- at least once month -- will grow to nearly 85% of all Internet users this year from around 80% a year ago, according to eMarketer.

By 2018, this simultaneous usage is forecast to be nearly 92%.

Smartphone users will increase to 79% by 2018 from 68% this year, with tablet users rising to near 35% from 31% this year. Desktop/laptop activity will essentially remain the same -- 52.8% in two years from 52.1% this year.

In 2016, eMarketer says 182.9 million Americans are using the Internet while watching TV at least once a month -- and 146.9 million Americans use Internet-connected apps on their phone while they watch TV.



And there will be more distraction when it comes to which TV services are used as well. Cord-cutting is expected to hit 16% this year among all current pay TV customers who have traditional access to pay TV services. This will rise to 19% in two years.

This yea,r the U.S. will lose a net 1.3 million pay TV viewers, according to an eMarketer report, which came out in December 2015. Total pay TV viewers are expected to be 205.7 million this year, slipping to 199.6 in 2019.

3 comments about "Multitasking On The Rise Among TV Viewers".
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  1. Leonard Zachary from T___n__, May 24, 2016 at 2:33 p.m.

    Ed look at the piles of cash left on the table becuase Broadcasters do not sell ads based von Attribution.

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, May 24, 2016 at 6:34 p.m.

    I suspect that viewers do not multitask while "watching TV" but instead single-task with their phones and other devices while "not watching commercials." Just a hunch.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 25, 2016 at 11:02 a.m.

    That has been my assumption as well, Douglas, however the actual extent of "multitasking" on an average minute basis is far smaller than is realized. Sure, one may make a phone call---or get one, or use a tablet or some other device from time to time, but not all the time---or even close to that---while watching a TV show. If we really had other devices with us and in use throughout the five hours per day that we "watch" TV----day after day----would we really classify ourselves as "viewing"? I doubt it. And how can it be that the average aided ad recall level for TV commercials ranges between 30-45%, depending on the methodology? Why isn't it zero?

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