People have been dividing their attention between screens at home at least since early laptops found their way into the living room, but the idea of second-screen programming really ramped up with the advent of smartphones. It's always in reach, ready to help you pass the time during a commercial break or dull moment.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers looked at what consumers do while fiddling on their phones, and found a range of activities with varying degrees of relevance to the main event on TV. Four out of five respondents search the names of actors in a program, a capability that wouldn't even require looking away for users of Amazon Video and its X-ray feature.
But nearly as many reported using social media or communicating with friends about topics unrelated to the show. E-commerce opportunities appeared healthy, with 65 percent of consumers noting that they looked up products shown or advertised in a show and 35 percent even purchasing merchandise related to it.
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But the most telling finding was that 43 percent of respondents watch a second show on a smartphone, highlighting how what began as a second screen in the home is increasingly becoming a primary screen within and beyond it.
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