POST Online Media Lite Edition


Even during TV time, digital devices are in full swing

Staff writer |
This year, 182.9 million Americans will use the internet while watching TV at least once a month, according to eMarketer’s first forecast of simultaneous media usage.

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That translates to 80.3% of internet users. Not surprisingly, smartphones are the device of choice for multitaskers.

This year, 146.9 million Americans will browse the web or use internet-connected apps on their phone (including chat apps) while they watch TV, representing more than two-thirds of internet users.

And 68.0% of U.S. internet users will use an internet-connected smartphone to do so. By 2018, that figure is expected to climb to 79.1%, the same year that 91.6% of internet users will use the web and TV at the same time.

Americans' TV time is becoming increasingly distracted at a time when cord-cutting is already accelerating. This year, the number of cord-cutters will grow 15.7%, causing the number of pay TV viewers to drop 0.6% from last year. That means this year, the U.S. will lose 1.3 million pay TV viewers.

So what type of content are people consuming on their internet-connected devices while they watch TV? As it turns out, most are looking at content unrelated to the TV program. This year, only 25.5% of simultaneous media users will consume related content online while watching TV.

Another bright spot for advertisers and content providers is that the percentage of simultaneous users consuming related content will increase. There are a number of reasons for this.

The mobile web and apps are making it increasingly easier for viewers to get more information about the show or sporting event they’re watching, such as an actor’s name or stats about their favorite team.

Also, the increasing prevalence of social media and messaging apps allows people to connect with others about the TV content.

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