US sees fast growing 2nd screen usage

November 15, 2012 11.04 Europe/London By Robert Briel

Traditional TV viewing remains stable in among US viewers, but second screen usage is growing fast.

Americans spent more than 34 hours per week in front of a TV set in Q2 2012, according to the latest Nielsen Cross-Platform Report.

People watched traditional TV, DVDs and played games. Most of the content from these activities was delivered to the TV set in a traditional manner, over broadcast, cable, satellite or IPTV, and a growing amount was delivered by internet connection.

Americans also added another five hours in front of the computer screen using the internet, or watching video content, and an increasing amount of time using smartphones this quarter.

Tablets and smartphones are proving to be new, novel and potentially necessary utilities, aiding Americans in connecting with the people and content they desire. These devices enable a new trans-generational community of connected consumers that crosses age, gender, race and ethnic lines to truly participate in the multitasking that used to be reserved for the young, or tech savvy elite.

Smartphones now have a market penetration greater than 50%, and tablets are already in nearly 20% of US TV homes.

While tablets and smartphones offer the freedom of mobility, close to 40% of Americans now use their tablets or smartphones while watching TV at least once a day, and twice as many do it at least once a month.

Today, more than 39% of people use their smartphone at least once a day while watching TV, 62% say they do this multiple times a week and 84% do at least once a month.