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Second screens not distracting TV viewers, says Nielsen

A new report from Nielsen suggests that owners of smartphones and tablets are actually using these devices to engage more deeply with the content they are watching, despite the suspicions of many industry watchers that they are nearly always a distraction, and – holy of advertising holies – viewers are also using them to shop for the products they see on TV.

According to the latest Nielsen survey on connected device owners, nearly half of US smartphone owners (46%) and tablet owners (43%) said they use their devices as second screens while watching TV every day, and more than two-thirds said they used these second screens multiple times a week during the first quarter of this year.

The research lab adds that consumers are using them to engage more deeply with content, with nearly half of all tablet owners looking up information on the TV show they are watching, although general Web search and Web browsing are still among the most popular things to do.

Nielsen also found that a fifth of tablet owners said they use their device to shop for products and services being advertised on TV – providing hope to the growing band of app makers such as Shazam that are seeking to develop major revenue streams from the TV industry.

For our recent interview with Daniel Danker, newly-appointed chief product officer at Shazam, please click here.

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