Pew: Half of all mobile phone users are 'multi-screen' TV viewers

Watching TV is increasingly becoming a multi-screen viewing experience.

According to a survey from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, more viewers taking to their smartphones to stay engaged, entertained, or to interact with others while in front of the TV. 

In all, 52 percent of adult cell phone owners (88 percent of the total population) watch TV and user their phones simultaneously. These “connected viewers”, as Pew calls them, are using the devices for any number of reasons.  

The Pew survey found that 38 percent of cell phone owners use their phone just to keep themselves occupied during commercial breaks. Another 22 percent use their phone in attempt to verify whether something they heard on TV was true—a number that could have some real implications for campaigns and political advertisers.  

Pew also found relevant demographic differences among the 52 percent of viewers who use their mobile phones while watching TV. Not surprisingly, those with the highest tendency to participate in multi-screen viewing are adults 18-24 (81 percent); followed by adults 25-34 (72 percent).

Viewers who live in urban areas are also more likely to join in this interactive experience than those who live in rural areas. Read Pew’s full report here.   

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