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US consumers use 'second screen' while watching TV

Anuradha Shukla | July 14, 2014
Connected device distracts customers, according to a Forrester survey.

44 percent of US online adults use internet-connected devices or a 'second screen' at least half the time while watching TV, according to a new Forrester survey of more than 33,500 respondents.

46 percent of US adults who use a connected device while watching TV do not use it to engage with what they are watching.

"This means that their connected device is actually a source of distraction, taking their attention away from the primary screen, not augmenting what they're watching on TV," says Forrester in the new research.

Broadcasters' and brands' have recognized this behavior of consumers and want to engage them on the second screen.

However, they have not been successful and Forrester advises marketers who want to incorporate second screens into their advertisement campaigns to design interactions that positively engage with consumers.

Second-screen is age sensitive

58% of the US online adults use a laptop connected to the Internet when watching TV. The 18- to 24-year-old age group is most active in using mobile as a second screen while tablets are popular amongst the 25-to-34 age group.

64% of US online adults aged 18 to 34 who use an Internet-connected device while watching TV also use it to engage with TV content. This figure drops to 46% for the over-35 category.

Over half of US online adults who use an Internet-connected device while watching TV are visiting social networking sites, but only 15% to 17% use their smartphone or laptop to post social updates about what they are watching.

Marketers should understand the intricacies of customer context to deliver second-screen campaigns that consumers will want to engage with.

They should avoid live TV programmes if they are new to second-screen campaigns, know their audience to build a true value exchange dynamics, pick the right moments to seek interactions and identify contexts where interactivity will drive engagement.  


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