Study: Most Broadband Homes Engage with Second Screens

Study: Searching for Info on Program Being Watched is Top Activity
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A majority (65%) of consumers in U.S. broadband homes engage in at least one second-screen activity on at least a monthly basis, Parks Associates found in a new round of digital media research.

The study amplifies the notion that consumers are tapping into mobile devices to supplement what they watch on the big screen, while also getting a better fix on how they are using those second screens while watching TV.

The study – 360 View Update Second-Screen Usage Patterns – found that searching for information about the program they are watching was the top second-screen activity, followed by searching for info about a product or service advertised on TV, and reading tweets associated with the show they are watching. Interacting with the TV show being watched, via games, polls or trivia, was at the bottom of the list was  (see chart).

“Most consumers favor a passive second-screen experience that complements the already immersive first-screen experience versus the highly interactive apps that typified the first phase of second-screen solutions,” Glenn Hower, research analyst at Parks Associates, said in a statement. “Second-screen users are more likely to engage in supplemental activities, like looking up information while they watch TV, as opposed to social media activities. These types of apps open new partnership opportunities among content providers, data aggregators, advertisers, and service providers.”

According to the study, 19% of pay TV subs said they have a mobile app from their service provider, up from 16% in 2014.

Broken down further, the highest adoption is with customers of AT&T U-verse and Verizon  FiOS (at about 30%), while 18% to 25% of cable subs said they have an app from their provider. About 22% of DirecTV subs and 17% of Dish Network customers reported having an app from their respective providers.

“While adoption is still low, we are getting a clearer picture of what consumers want in a second-screen solution. Consumers do not want to divide their attention while watching TV,” Hower said.