Tablet Devices Have Passed PCs and Smartphones as the Preferred Second Screen

Tablet devices have emerged as the leading “second-screen” alternative to television for viewing full-length episodes, according to a new study released by Viacom. But the study might also provide more evidence that PC-based or smart phone and tablet-based “multitasking” has created an “interactive” experience once envisioned for TV-based systems.

Drawing on a national online survey of more than 2,500 people ages 8-54 as well as qualitative, in-depth interviews with dedicated tablet users in New York and Los Angeles, the study shows tablets are used to view full-length TV more than PCs. Out of total time spent watching full-length shows, 15 percent of total viewing occurs on tablets.

Tablet viewing also seems to be cannibalizing viewing of full-length TV on desktops and smart phones

Among tablet owners who subscribe to a cable company that offers streaming apps, about half report downloading the app. These cable company app users spend 20 percent more time on their tablet than non-cable app users.

While watching television, many respondents use tablets to multitask or as a complementary experience. The survey also found that 62 percent of owners use their tablets daily, spending about 2.4 hours a day on their devices.  And though used for business or work, about 85 percent of tablet use is for personal reasons. Also, about 74 percent of tablet usage is at home

Edited by Jennifer Russell

Contributing Editor

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