Second-Screeners: Appeal of Content Synchronized With Live TV Remains Fairly Modest

January 15, 2014

CEANATPE-Second-Screen-Consumers-and-Program-Content-Jan2014Some new data has been released on second-screen use during TV viewing, courtesy of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE). The results of the survey – fielded among a sample of adults who access second-screen content related to TV programming – suggest that synchronized program content use has plenty of room to grow. Only 4 in 10 respondents reported trying synchronized program content to watch with live TV, and few found that it significantly enhanced their experience. Specifically, only about 1 in 8 said that synchronized content makes the viewing experience “much more enjoyable.” However, a sizable 62% said that it made their experience “somewhat more enjoyable,” indicating that there is a base to build on.

For the time being, though, the researchers note that synchronized content is primarily used as a “distraction during commercials,” as the majority of those accessing this type of content do so during ad breaks.

As one might be imagine, synchronized content has greater appeal in some areas than others. 7 in 10 respondents agreed that this type of content is only appropriate for certain program genres; currently it’s most often used during reality shows (29%) and to participate in contests to win prizes (24%).

Parents appear to be a welcoming audience for this type of content: those with kids under the age of 18 comprised 41% of synchronized content users, and they were twice as likely as respondents without kids in the home to find their viewing experience “much more enjoyable” (19% vs. 9%) as a result.

Not surprisingly, second-screeners are more likely to access “asynchronous” TV-related content – that being content accessed before or after shows, or between seasons. About 9 in 10 second-screen consumers profess to doing so, including close to two-thirds who access the content at least monthly.

Other Findings:

  • The study estimates that 44% of the general population accesses TV program content on a second device at some level of frequency.
  • Synchronized content users are most likely to be found using a smartphone (32%) to access live program content, with that figure highest among 13-34-year-olds (42%). The laptop (24%) is the next-most used device, although women aged 55 and up are most apt to use a tablet.
  • Asynchronous content access is most often related to information about storylines/actors/characters in programs, “sneak peeks” for upcoming episodes, and additional background on an episode.
  • Almost 1 in 2 Millennial (13-34) respondents use Facebook to access second-screen content, while one-third use Twitter.

About the Data: The quantitative portion of the study was administered via an internet survey to an online national sample of 2,531 U.S. adults, age 13+ between October 18th and October 28th, 2013. All respondents report accessing second screen content related to televised programming including TV shows/series, sports, music programming, televised movies, and news at any frequency.

The margin of sampling error at 95% confidence for aggregate results is +/- 1.95%. Sampling error is larger for subgroups of the data.

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