If you’re the kind of person to reach for your smartphone during every commercial break whenever you’re watching TV – you’re not alone. According to a recent study from Pew Research, it looks like cellphone (and smartphone) usage during TV-watching sessions is becoming the norm. From a group of 2,254 people in March and April 2012, 38% of those surveyed said they used their phones to keep them busy during the advertisements. 22% used their phones to check to see if something during mentioned the show was true or not (I did this pretty often when watching Breaking Bad!), 11% used their phones to see what other people online were saying about the show, 11% used their phones to comment about a program they were watching and only 6% used their phones to vote for reality show contestants.
With people ignoring commercials on TV thanks to their phones in front of them, it looks like advertisers and marketers will have to find a way to take advantage of the situation. Perhaps we’ll be seeing an influx of TV-related apps in the future? I can imagine an individual app for a channel or TV show that updates in real time as the show goes on, giving users more details about what’s going on, easy ways to share what they’re watching and perhaps advertisements that target the channel or show’s demographic.
What do you think of the survey? Do the results describe your habits? I’m definitely one of those guys who will be passing time on the phone every time a commercial comes on screen.
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