Tivo survey indicates second screen still playing second fiddle

tivos new survey takes look multitasker us facebook second screen tv

TiVo unveiled the results of its recent Social Media and Multitasking Survey this morning, which focused on how users engage in social media, Internet searches, and other distractions while watching TV. Among the results were some surprises, like the fact that the majority of those polled don’t multitask much while watching TV. Others came as little or no surprise, like the revelation that, at least in the TiVo universe, almost no one likes TV show hashtags popping up while they watch.

The survey was conducted over a three week period in 2013, from Oct 16th to November 7th, sampling 1,660 households, 40 percent of which were TiVo viewers, 48 percent were non-subscribers, and 12 percent were wrangled in from social media. And for those who think technology is turning us all into smartphone obsessed A.D.D. monsters, the results offer some rays of hope.

Multitasking

Sure, Americans watch way too much TV, but 76 percent of those polled actually pay attention to the show they’re watching, making it their primary focus. Further, 45 percent of TiVo users, and 35 percent of the non-subscribers reported that their attention was directed only towards the TV, “and not on anything else.”

Of course, that does leave a decent portion of at least occasional multitaskers – apparently not everyone has the stamina for a full 22 minutes of focused TV time after all. Of those who reported multitasking at least once while watching, a whopping 94 percent said they had gone online to browse or chat (69 and 23 percent respectively), while cooking and watching came in second, at 48 percent.

Online distractions

The distraction unit of choice while watching TV was predictably the smartphone, used 61 percent of the time. And almost a quarter (24 percent) of those who reported ever having multitasked while viewing said they used their smartphone “every time, or almost every time” they sat down to watch, which is starting to sound more like what we imagined.

Much to the chagrin of those spearheading the new “second screen” marketing campaigns that were so prevalent at CES 2012, only 27 percent of users reported looking up show information during the actual program. Most Internet searching about show info was actually done after the show finished, often later in the week. And perhaps most telling, while program related hashtags that popped up during the show were noticed by the majority of the TiVo users polled (68 percent), 63 percent of those that did notice said they didn’t like them, and a hilariously low 3 percent said they did. #fail.

Outside the family

The survey also showed that people don’t really like engaging in forums or sponsored program discussions with people they don’t know. The majority of users were loathe to engage in conversation about TV programming outside of their own social media networks. 61 percent of TiVo watchers and 55 percent of non-subscribers agreed with the statement “I only want to discuss TV with people I know, not with Internet strangers.” Perhaps too many undistracted “Catch a Predator” viewings could be the issue there.

The Game of Thrones factor

Finally, there were those that actually avoided the Internet altogether for fear of program spoilers, which amounted to 25 percent of all polled. And nearly three quarters of the sample segment agreed that some shows were too complex or important to engage in other activities while watching.

If anything, TiVo’s survey showed that people are actually pretty serious about their TV these days. Of course, since almost half of those polled ponied up for a TiVo box and subscription, that’s not all that surprising. Still, while our devices seem to offer more distractions than ever, TiVo’s poll shows that most people just want to watch TV without a whole lot of other activities going on. It should be interesting to see how the growing prevalence of on-demand viewing affects those numbers in the future.

Features

Netflix’s latest price increase heralds the end of streaming’s golden age

Netflix’s recent price rise is just the latest in a string of signs that streaming’s golden age is nearly over. As more services enter the fray, content will be further partitioned, signaling the end of streaming’s good old days.
Emerging Tech

Scientists successfully grow human blood vessels in a Petri dish

Researchers have managed to grow human blood vessels in a Petri dish for the first time, and even to successfully implant them into live mice. The results could be a game-changer for diabetes.
Smart Home

Project Alias is a ‘smart parasite’ that stops smart speakers from listening

Two designers chose to do something about nosy smart speakers. The result is Project Alias, a "smart parasite" that whispers nonsense to Google Home and Alexa until it hears a specific wake word.
Photography

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone…
Business

Cathay Pacific messes up first-class ticket prices — again

A couple of weeks ago, an error on Cathay Pacific's website resulted in first-class seats selling for a tenth of the price. On Sunday, January 13, the airline made the error again. The good news is that it'll honor the bookings.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Home Theater

Walmart abandons its plans for a streaming Netflix killer

Rumored plans for a Walmart owned, Vudu-labeled Netflix streaming killer have been shelved according to a new report from CNBC. The billions it would have needed to invest in order to compete apparently gave the mega retailer cold feet.
Home Theater

Want to mirror your smartphone or tablet onto your TV? Here's how

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen from virtually any device available.
Deals

Need a smart speaker? Amazon knocks $50 off Sonos Beam soundbar with Alexa

If you're looking to add some oomph to your home audio setup, then through February 3, the Alexa-enabled Sonos Beam is on sale for $50 off, bringing this excellent smart sound bar down to just $349 on Amazon.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Plex is the latest player to contemplate the subscription streaming game

With massive reach thanks to its client app being supported virtually every media device on the planet, Plex is now looking at the future of its media curation platform. A future that may include free and subscription services.
Home Theater

Yamaha’s MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable spreads analog joy throughout your home

It can be tough to listen to your favorite analog tunes anywhere besides the room where your turntable is located. With its MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable, Yamaha allows you to stream your tunes throughout your home.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.