Although tablets are often considered “mobile devices,” most people aren’t carrying them around all day – instead, they’re spending plenty of their tablet time sitting on the couch and engaging in an activity that’s come to be known as “second-screening.”
In other words, they’re watching television and using their tablets for totally unrelated tasks or to augment the information they’re getting from the TV. Marketers of all stripes are looking for ways to cash in on this new phenomenon and a new report from Nielsen should give them some actionable information.
One Screen Just Isn’t Enough
So, what are tablet users doing when they’re also watching TV? As expected, many people are using their tablets to look up information about the show they’re currently watching – who are the actors, what’s the premise of the show, when’s the next episode. However, nearly as many people are looking up information about what happens between the show segments – yes, the commercials. And they’re not only looking for immediate deals, either – a relatively smaller percentage of people said that they’re looking for coupons and sales relevant to the ad they just viewed.
Of course, people aren’t just using their tablets to interact with the show itself – more often, they’re using their tablets to connect with others through social media, to discuss the show, share predictions and voice their opinions on the onscreen action. Further, they did this regardless of whether the show was in a commercial break.
The full breakdown of data relevant to second-screening, as per Nielsen, is below. In the third quarter of 2012, as people watched their TVs with tablets in hand…
- 20% looked up information pertaining to an advertisement aired during a commercial break
- 29% looked up information pertaining to the TV program itself
- 13% looked up sales and coupons pertaining to an advertisement aired during a commercial break
- 33% did some type of shopping, regardless of whether it pertained directly to the programming being watched
- 36% visited a social networking site while watching the show
- 36% visited a social networking site while watching a commercial