question of the day: Do you second-screen?

second screen

You know what second-screening is, don’t you? That’s when you’re using your computer (or a smartphone or tablet) while also watching TV. Technically, it could also theoretically mean using your computer (or smartphone or tablet) while playing a videogame or watching a movie in a cinema — that is, consuming material through two different screens showing different content at the same time — though those would be pretty impractical for lots of reasons. (The Best Buy Minion app to accompany Despicable Me, which I wrote about a couple of years ago, is one example of how second-screening in a multiplex could work.)
I ask because:

Study shows growth in second screen users

This from the AP via Yahoo! News, and it continues:

The Nielsen company said that one in three people using Twitter in June sent messages at some point about the content of television shows, an increase of 27 percent from only five months earlier. And that was before the Olympics, which was probably the first big event to illustrate the extent of second screen usage.

“Twitter has become the second screen experience for television,” said Deirdre Bannon, vice president of social media at Nielsen.

An estimated 41 percent of tablet owners and 38 percent of smartphone owners used their device while also watching television at least once a day, Nielsen said.

That percentage hasn’t changed much; in fact, 40 percent of smartphone owners reported daily dual screen usage a year earlier, Nielsen said. The difference is that far more people own these devices and they are using them for a longer period of time. The company estimated that Americans spent a total of 157.5 billion minutes on mobile devices in July 2012, nearly doubling the 81.8 billion the same month a year earlier.

The Nielsen study also found that 35 percent of people who used tablets while watching TV looked up information online about the program they were watching. A quarter of tablet owners said they researched coupons or deals for products they saw advertised on television.

As rapid as the use of social media while on television is growing in the United States, it already lags behind other countries. Nielsen said that 63 percent of people in the Middle East or Africa report using social media while on TV, and 52 percent of people in Latin America.

The study was specifically about social media, but that’s not the only reason to second-screen: perhaps you’re sending emails while watching a sporting event, or doing work with a favorite movie on in the background.

So: Do you second-screen? Has that changed in the past year?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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