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63pc of tablet owners use device while watching TV: study

Television and mobile go hand-in-hand with both content consumption and advertising, according to new research from GfK MRI iPanel.

In GfK MRI iPanel?s newest report, the company looked at which activities were most prominent during second-screen viewing. Additionally, the study breaks down how consumers interact with advertising on mobile devices while watching TV.

"From a marketer?s perspective, these new findings speak to the fact that consumer conversations around brands and TV programs will increase as tablet ownership grows," said Risa Becker, senior vice president of research at GfK MRI, New York.

"Word of mouth is such an important part of building a brand and two-screen viewing clearly helps facilitate conversations about programs and advertised brands," she said.

Cross-screen advertising
The study surveyed 1,382 tablet and ereader consumers and was conducted in April. Respondents were asked about their mobile and TV experiences over the past seven days.

Twenty-eight percent of dual-screen TV viewers in the study said that they used their tablet to look up additional information about a product advertised during the day. Twelve percent of consumers bought an advertised product while watching TV.

Forty-one percent of the tablet owners surveyed said that the total time that they spent watching TV is devoted to a two-screen experience that switches back and forth from the TV to the tablet.

Interestingly, 36 percent of two-screen users said that their attention is primarily on their tablet while watching TV. The same percentage of consumers surveyed said that they split their time equally between their tablet and TV.

Twenty-eight percent of consumers surveyed said that the TV was the primary screen that they paid attention to. This suggests that the tablet is more than just a complementary screen for TV viewers ? instead it is being used as a main screen that consumers are spending substantial time with.

Interactive users
Thirty-four percent of consumers surveyed posted a comment on Facebook, Twitter, a blog or Web site while watching TV, showing how social is inherently mobile when it is combined with TV.

Additionally, 25 percent of two-screen viewers visited a network or show?s Web site or app while watching TV.

Twelve percent of consumers in the study looked for information from a show being watched. Sixteen percent of consumers in the study watched a video clip that related to the show being watched.

Consumers also want to sound off to friends and family while watching TV through polls and live chats. Eleven percent of consumers voted in a contest related to the show they were watching and nine percent live chatted about a show that they were watching.

As tablets continue to be used by consumers to enhance the TV-watching experience, marketers need to be looking for ways to combine mobile with TV marketing that not only flows between the two mediums but also adds value for consumers.

"As more people own tablets, we are sure to see different behavior patterns emerge, but these early findings certainly speak to tablets strongly complementing TV," Ms. Becker said.

"Roughly two-thirds of concurrent tablet/TV users ? the so-called two-screen viewers ? tell us their focus is either primarily on TV or equally on TV and their tablet while two-screen viewing is happening," she said. "That certainly speaks to the tablet complementing and not disrupting the TV experience."

"Moreover, the fairly strong percentage of two-screen viewers who actively engage with TV programming via their tablet ? doing things like live-chatting about the show or posting comments about the show ? certainly speak to the tablet deepening and enriching consumer?s TV viewing."

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York