TiVo finds 'dramatic' increase in multitasking during TV viewing

DetailsJoseph O'Halloran | 17 October 2014




The second annual Multitasking and Social TV Survey from TiVo has revealed that fundamentally most engagement with TV shows does not occur while viewers are watching programmes.




80587 DevicesUsedWhileWatchingTVThe PVR pioneer says that the survey results also indicate a dramatic increase in multitasking during TV viewing. Indeed just over half of the 856 survey respondents reported multitasking every time or almost every time they watch TV (51%); compared with just over a third (36%) in last year's survey.

A huge 94% of respondents reported that they have multitasked while watching TV with a smartphone (78%) and the laptop (72%) the two most popular devices used while watching TV. Nearly three-fifths (58%) of respondents reported that they use another device almost every or every time they watch TV while half report never or almost never engaging in TV-related multitasking. Just less than a quarter (22%) reported ever posting on social media sites about shows they watch; 5% of all respondents do this a few times a week or more.

The Multitasking and Social TV Survey also found that even though TV multitasking may be on the increase, viewers also report an increase in TV viewing as the primary focus: 47% of respondents' total TV time is spent with their primary attention on the TV show while multitasking, versus last year's 39%. Just over a quarter (26%) of their TV time is spent multitasking with their main focus on another task, similar to the 2013 study, and 27% of their TV time is spent only watching TV (not multitasking), down from 35% in 2013.

"Even given the proliferation of multitasking, viewers remain primarily focused on the television shows they are watching," said TiVo chief research officer Jonathan Steuer. "To paraphrase the Bard, the programme's the thing!"