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‘Dramatic’ increase in TV multitasking

The past year has seen a “dramatic increase” in multitasking during TV viewing, with half of TV viewers now doing this according to the research division of DVR maker TiVo.

TiVo Research’s second annual TiVo Multitasking and Social TV Survey found that 51% of respondents claimed to multitask “every time or almost every time” they watch TV, up from 36% last year.

The top activities done while watching TV were found to be browsing the internet at 74%, sending email at 73% or sending text messages at 71%.

Some 50% said they never or almost never engage in TV-related multitasking, while just 5% said do TV-related multitasking every time or almost every time they watch TV.

However, 61% of respondents report searching the web for information about the programs they watch and 47% have ‘liked’ a show’s official Facebook page – though both usually not at the same time as watching the show.

“Even given the proliferation of multitasking, viewers remain primarily focused on the television shows they are watching. To paraphrase the Bard, the programme’s the thing,” said TiVo chief research Officer, Jonathan Steuer.

Viewers this year reported an increase in TV viewing as the primary focus. While multitasking, 47% of respondents’ total TV time was spent with their primary attention on the TV show, compared to 39% last year.