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July 20, 2012

Half of American Mobile Phone Owners Use Devices While Watching TV

By Jacqueline Lee, Contributing Writer

According to research from the Pew (News - Alert) Internet & American Life Project, approximately half of all Americans use their mobile phones while they watch television.

Some use their phones to look up information in real time, while others use their phones to communicate with friends and family about programming. Nearly 25 percent of users use text messaging to converse with someone in a remote location about a show that they are both watching.

Other popular mobile phone activities during television watching included playing with phones during commercials, looking up information connected to programming, posting comments on shows or commercials and voting for reality show contestants.

The combination of mobile phones and television leads naturally into the subject of Social TV. As more broadcast and cable stations are incorporating social media into their programming, they can aggregate comments posted on multiple social media streams including Twitter, Facebook (News - Alert) and GetGlue to create a single vibrant chat stream for their websites.

Additionally, social TV allows users to flag, comment, like or share items related to television programming. Networks can use social media for instant polling that viewers can respond to via mobile web, hashtag or SMS. Some networks even create chatrooms in which viewers can interact with actors, athletes or politicians during programs.

However, one of the most important uses of social TV may be to drive revenue growth. Social media analytics will offer networks deep insights about their television audience and allow them to deliver customized, segmented advertising that will generate additional cash.

“The really important thing is to remember the context of the TV in the home – as an entertainment device – not just another web browser,” said Bill Scott, COO at Easel TV. “Just because the technology allows you to pull up a webpage it doesn’t mean that’s what the viewer will engage with in the middle of a TV show.” 

“Simple, overlaid but non-invasive graphics can start the engagement, which may then continue on other devices before coming back to the TV.”

Want to learn more about today’s powerful mobile ecosystem? Then be sure to attend the
Mobility Tech Conference & Expo, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct. 2-5 2012, in Austin, TX. Co-sponsored by TMC (News - Alert) Partner Crossfire Media the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo provides unmatched networking opportunities and a robust conference program representing the mobile ecosystem. The conference not only brings together the best and brightest in the wireless industry, it actually spans the communications and technology industry. For more information on registering for the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo click here.

Stay in touch with everything happening at Mobility Tech Conference & Expo. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Braden Becker
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