Half of consumers use a second screen while watching TV

10 Nov 2011

Nearly 50pc of consumers are using another electronic device while watching TV at home, according to findings from a new wave of ‘Living with Digital’ consumer research carried out by Futuresource Consulting.

The most popular reasons for this include combating boredom, needing something else to do and keeping in touch with friends, though 10pc said it makes them feel part of the show, highlighting the complementary nature of second screens. The study also found that younger respondents are more likely to be participating in this behaviour.

‘Living with Digital’, which was carried out in the USA, UK, France and Germany with more than 2,600 respondents ranging from 12 to 65+ years of age, explores the ways in which consumers interact with and consume digital entertainment and compares behaviours with those of six months ago.

Explosion in online video content

The study also shows that 57pc of people are watching online video content, with nearly one in four using their smartphones, at least occasionally. Watching online video on a desktop PC is still the most common method, very closely followed by laptop.

In all four countries surveyed, there has been a net increase in online video viewing over the last six months, with wider choice, more appealing content and being able to watch content at any time the key factors behind the shift.

However, more than 80pc of respondents still do not pay for online video content; although nearly 40pc of these said they could be persuaded in the future. Among respondents that have paid for online content already, more than two in every three have paid for movies.

When asked about their buying behaviours for physical media, 60pc of respondents are still buying DVDs and 19pc are buying Blu-ray Discs. Of the countries surveyed, people living in the UK buy the most DVDs, an average of nearly 6.5 during the last six months. For Blu-ray, the USA leads the way, with US purchasers of Blu-ray Discs buying an average of 5.75 in the last six months.

In Germany and France there is a net increase in the number of people buying more Blu-ray Discs than six months ago, with 41pc of people in Germany buying more titles than they did six months ago.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years