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TV and Tablets: Let the Multitasking Begin




Remember when TV commercial breaks were used to grab a snack from the kitchen? Now, people are using commercial breaks to look up coupons for snacks, chat with friends and check their email. It’s not enough that we multitask all day long at work, but now, thanks to tablets and smartphones, we’re doing it during our leisure hours, too.

New numbers from Nielsen show that 42% of tablet owners use the device daily while watching TV. 40% of smartphone owners reported the same with up to 24% saying they did it at least a few times a week.

What are they doing on those devices? Mostly checking email, but social networking was also popular with women. Men were more likely to check sports scores and 46% simply took their browser for a spin to see what’s what.

This news is likely to upset TV advertisers. They pay good money to promote their brand during The Biggest Loser and now people aren’t even paying attention. To them, I say, don’t take it personally. According to the chart below, an almost equal number of people are multitasking during the show, too. So, think of them as equal opportunity ignorers.

For online and mobile advertisers, this is all good news. It’s another opportunity to connect with the consumer when they’re at home, relaxed and in an exploratory frame of mind. Forget 9 to 5, 8 to 10 pm is the perfect time for promotional Tweets and Facebook updates, especially if your target is the TV-loving female like me.