Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More on Mobile Multitasking

A new survey of U.S. cell phone users, conducted by Yahoo and Razorfish, reports that 80% of their sample report regularly using their cell phones while watching TV.  Almost half (49%) reported doing so "daily."  And it's not just answering calls - 15% reported browsing on their cell phones throughout the time they're watching TV, and 60% reported checking for info on their phones at least once or twice during a single program.
Viewers who multitask report do so to communicate with others and sharing their thoughts.  94% report using their mobile devices to connect with specific others, via a combination of text, email, voice, social networking or other messaging systems (like Twitter).  Three-fifths (60%) use their mobile devices to find information, with 44% reporting looking for information unrelated to what they're watching, and 38% searching for program related content.  And 57% of tablet owners reported looking for related content while watching TV programs.
The survey found that people were most likely to multitask while watching reality programming, followed by news, comedy, sports and food programs.

The survey reported that participants were split on whether their multitasking was a good thing or not - 38% thought their multitasking improved there viewing experience, and 39% thought it was a distraction.  Razorfish VP Jeremy Lockhorn provided his interpretation of the results -
“At minimum, multitasking adds another layer of complexity to the evolution of media measurement... At most, it’s a massive disruptor to television. ... On the one hand, there is a potential distraction factor with connected devices, and on the other, there is a much more engaged viewer who is passionately chasing down more content on devices beyond the TV.”

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