Appscend / Mobile, Media and Real-time Insights

Everything You Need to Know about Multiscreening and Second Screen Usage

Appscend Team

The Changing TV Experience: Attitudes and Usage Across Multiple Screens by IAB came out April this year. The research was conducted between January 19-21, among 18 or older adults, and “wanted to benchmark device ownership and usage and to understand how device behaviors and perceptions are affecting or altering the TV viewing experience.” This article will incorporate some of the key findings in the research.

Source: IAB

Source: IAB

Device Ownership and Usage

Today’s consumers own a variety of screens from which to watch video.

  • Over one in three US adults owns a connected TV.

About three in ten US adults have recently purchased a tablet, smartphone or connected TV/device.

  • Newness has likely contributed to increased connected TV streaming since 2014.

On average, US adults report spending nearly 5 hours using a computer each day, slightly more than they spend watching TV.

  • US adults spend 4.8 hours using a computer, 4.4 hours using television, 3.6 hours using a smartphone and 1.9 hours using a tablet.

Smartphone, tablet and connected TV/device usage has increased considerably over the past year.

  • 42% US adults are using a smartphone more than last year, 35% are using a tablet more than last year, 27% are using a computer more than last year and 11% are watching more TV than last year, while 19% are watching less TV than last year.
Source: IAB

Source: IAB

Multitasking Behaviors: How does owning multiple screens affect TV viewing?

For the majority of the TV viewing audience, watching TV is no longer a standalone experience.

  • 78% of US adults who watch TV use another device while watching TV (smartphone, computer, or tablet).

The smartphone is the dominant ‘second screen.’

  • 69% of US adults use their smartphones while watching TV, 54% use computers, 53% use tablets.

Multiscreening is a daily habit.

  • 84% of US adults use a smartphone daily while watching TV, 79% use a computer and 65% a tablet.

Multiscreening is on the rise, especially among those with a smartphone or tablet.

  • 40% of US adults are using a smartphone more than last year while watching TV, 39% are using a tablet more and 28% are using a computer more.

Smartphone and tablet multiscreeners are more likely to pay attention to the TV; computer multiscreeners’ focus is half-and-half.

While watching TV, multiscreeners are more likely to extend their TV viewing to their smartphones; less so on other devices.

  • Top multiscreening activities are mostly unrelated: browsing, social networking, email, gaming and shopping.

While top multiscreening activities of smartphone users are unrelated leisure, a sizable portion is related to what they’re watching on TV.

  • Top smartphone activities include: surfing the internet, social networking, gaming, email.
  • TV show related: Roughly half socialize or search related to the TV show; one-third watch or share video: about one-quarter tweet/vote.
  • TV commercial related: Roughly one third socialize or search related to TV commercials.

Full report available at