More multitasking in front of big TV screens will occur this year among U.S. adult viewers, but much of it will be unrelated to TV shows they are watching.
eMarketer projects that 177.7 million adults will regularly use a second-screen device while watching TV this year -- up 5.1% from 2016. The number of U.S. viewers will rise in 2018 again -- a 4.5% gain to 185.8 million and up 4.1% to 193.5 million in 2019.
The data from eMarketer says these are viewers 18+ who use a desktop/laptop or mobile device to access online content while watching traditional TV content on a TV set at least once per month.
A total of 162.6 million people will use smartphones as a second-screen device while watching TV in 2017, the research says. Some 110.5 million are using desktops/
Mostly adult viewers -- at 131.5 million -- are looking at online content that is unrelated to what they are watching on the TV screen. Far less -- 46.2 million adults -- are accessing digital content related to what they are watching on TV.
Viewers' main behaviors are texting, using social media or shopping as they watch TV.