Deloitte: 80 Percent of Americans Multi-Task while Watching TV


NEW YORK: Deloitte’s seventh edition of the State of the Media Democracy survey revealed a 160-percent growth in the number of digital omnivores, consumers who own a trio of tablets, smartphones and laptops.

This accounts from more than a quarter of U.S. consumers. Tablet ownership alone spiked 177 percent over the past year, while smartphone ownership was up 28 percent; laptop penetration remained largely unchanged.

When looking at the ways that Americans are using these devices, the survey found that tablet owners stream movies 70-percent more often than non-tablet owners. Millenials, ages 14 to 23, have nearly doubled their frequency of using online video services in the last year. They increased their frequency of watching TV shows on smartphones by five times, and frequency of watching on tablets by ten times. It was also revealed that U.S. consumers prefer to rent rather than own their TV and movie content, by a ratio of 2:1.

The use of multiple devices inside the home is quite high, with more than 80 percent of consumers reporting that they are multitasking while watching TV.

“Digital technology has emphatically triumphed in its penetration of the modern consumer lifestyle,” said Gerald Belson, the vice chairman of Deloitte LLP and U.S. Media & Entertainment sector leader. “While that trendline has been well documented, the surprise is how thoroughly digital tools have become essential across all age groups and consumer applications in the past year. This new reality creates opportunities—and an imperative—for organizations to differentiate themselves by utilizing multiple platforms to reach prospects and serve their customers.”

“The explosion of media-capable devices has had a striking impact on consumer behavior that poses interesting challenges for the entertainment industry and longstanding business models,” added Alma Derricks, the director of Deloitte Consulting LLP. “More than half of consumers have their TVs connected to the Internet in some way, and that group watches TV content from online sources over 40 percent of the time. This behavior impacts both the entertainment and advertising industries, and highlights the continued importance of using multiple platforms and devices to build brands and engage consumers.”