Data Monday: While Watching TV...

by Luke Wroblewski September 9, 2012

There's no shortage of surveys highlighting the fact that people with smartphones and tablets use them while watching TV. But how often and how much depends on where you look. So I've pulled together a number of studies that dig into this trend.

  • In August 2012, 77% of TV viewers used another device at the same time in a typical day. 81% used a smartphone and TV at the same time. 66% used a laptop and TV at the same time. (source)
  • In April 2012, 88% of US tablet owners and 86 percent of US smartphone owners said they used their device while watching TV. (source)
  • In November 2011, 86% of mobile Internet users in the US said they used their device while watching TV. 92% of 13-24 year olds used their mobile device while watching TV. (source)
  • In May 2011, Smartphone users spent 20% of their time on the device in front of the television. Watching TV was the second most common “situational use” (68%) for smart phones. iPad users spent the greatest chunk of their time (30%) on the device in front of television. Watching TV was the most common “situational use” for iPads at 70%. (source)
  • In June 2010, 86% of mobile Internet users (and 92% of 13-24s) were using their mobile devices simultaneously with TV. A quarter of them said they were browsing content related to what they are watching. (source)
  • In June 2009, 57% of US Internet consumers watched TV and went online simultaneously at least once a month. On average these consumers spent 2 hours, 39 minutes each month simultaneously using the Internet while also watching TV. Their online experience at home is in front of the television almost a third of the time. (source)

When you consider the average US household watches 150 hours of TV a month, this sequential device use adds up to a lot of "mobile" (smartphone and tablet) time that happens inside the home.