According to Nielsen’s newly released Q2 2012 Cross-Platform Report, second screen television viewing is becoming a widespread trend, with smartphones in more than 50 percent of U.S. homes and tablets in almost 20 percent.
The data shows that 85 percent of mobile owners use their tablet or smartphone while watching television at least once a month, while 40 percent do so on a daily basis. 41 percent of those who use a second screen daily are using a tablet, while 39 percent are using a smartphone.
Interestingly, smartphone usage skews younger, with half of 18 to 24 year olds using their phones while watching television, while tablet usage skews older. People aged 25–34 and 55–64 are the most likely to use tablets multiple times a day while watching TV, and women are more likely to use smartphones than men.
What’s more is that tablets have forded the oft-treacherous age gap. Thirty-six percent of people age 35–54 years old and 44 percent of people 55–64 years old use their tablets while watching TV in order to dive deeper into programming. Nearly a third of tablet users age 25–64 check sports scores while watching games too. In fact, a majority of owners use apps while watching TV across the board.
A small digital divide between the sexes has been happening with smartphones, however. Over 40 percent of female smartphone owners use their smartphones at least once a day while watching TV. Men, one the other hand, use their smartphones much less. About 35 percent say they put their smartphones in use while channel surfing, giving new meaning to the phrase “pass the remote.”
While checking TV programming and sports scores is popular with tablet users, smartphone users tend to use their devices to visit social networking sites, shop, and access email accounts.