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January 28, 2013

Entertainment Multitasking on the Rise in United States

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

When it comes to entertainment, multitasking is increasingly popular in the United States. Most consumers--fully 60 percent according to a survey conducted by YouGov PLC for KPMG International--still favor their televisions when it comes to watching shows and movies. But an increasing number don't just want to watch television, they also want their smartphones, tablets and laptops on hand so that they can go online while they watch television.

The KPMG International 2013 Digital Debate survey polled 1,000 consumers in the United States, and rounded out those figures with another 9,000 consumers worldwide. Among the many discoveries was the 60 percent number noted above, but carried on to include several noteworthy points. In the United States, fully 42 percent of consumers were watching television and accessing the Internet via laptop or PC. 14 percent engaged in the same kind of multitasking, but instead favored a smartphone for online access during shows. 22 percent of respondents were engaging in a practice television seems to be approving of quite a bit of late, both watching television and using a social networking site at the same time.

What's more, the survey revealed that there are a lot of changes in terms of how television is being viewed. While most still prefer the television approach, a growing number--14 percent at last count--favor their mobile device for watching television thanks to its improved flexibility. But the United States has plenty of competition afoot in terms of the biggest couch potato stakes, as Singapore, China, and Brazil are all proving to be major consumers of digital media. Traditional media is increasingly coming on par with digital media, as consumers across all markets are spending about the same amount of time with traditional media as they are with online media, a figure that some suggest will shift as mobile networks improve.

So what's the crucial take-away on this? Basically, while right now television is still top dog when it comes to media interaction, that's not the case for a growing number of users, and it may not continue to be the case for long. Smart content providers are likely already looking into more ways to intermingle digital and traditional media, and we're already starting to see some of that with the rise of "tweet seats" and other forms of Twitter (News - Alert) integration at theaters.

The rise of mobile hardware and social networking together will make for a likely continued demand for the use of both, and with some shows even starting to incorporate social media into their normal programming, the end result will likely prove to be much different from the television we know and love today.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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