Watching TV? Don’t forget your smartphone, tablet

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NielsenTablets and smartphones have quickly become a technological staple of the modern family. While smartphone penetration in the U.S. is over 50 percent, tablet penetration is on the fast track as well. Within a two-year period, almost one fifth of U.S. homes have become tablet owners, according to a Nielsen blog about its most recent Cross Platform Report. Though tablet owners tend to be older and more affluent than smartphone owners, it only proves that the adoption and use of new technologies are not reserved for the young.


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.”


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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.