Prime Time Out: 44% of Americans Use Gadgets While ‘Watching’ TV

No more idle hands

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Checking email during the Nightly News? Flirting on OKCupid during The Bachelor? You’re not alone. A study released Thursday says that almost half of Americans use a second screen while watching TV.

About 44% of Americans use a second screen while watching television, and while only 13% say that makes their experience “much more enjoyable,” 67% say it makes television “somewhat” more fun to watch, according to the study performed by the NATPE and the Consumer Electrics Association.

The study found that 67% of those using a second screen were searching for program-related content, and most were using smart phones to search. Millennials and women were most likely to be using second screens. “Synchronized content” is most often used during reality shows (29%) and contest shows (24%.)

CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro told the Hollywood Reporter that the findings indicate “exciting opportunities” to “market connected devices and potentially collaborate with content producers,: he said, adding that “there is an opportunity to expand consumer engagement with the Second Screen across a broader variety of programming.”