Digital Media Today: Taking Multitasking to a Whole New Level

February 7, 2013

digital, smartphones, tv



When is comes to the modern consumer, multitasking is a given. We multitask while we work, while we’re driving and now more than ever before, we multitask while we relax. According to a new study by KPMG, nearly 60 percent of consumers like to watch TV and use their smartphones or tablets simultaneously.

"We continue to see that multitasking is getting bigger and bigger," said Paul Wissmann, leader of KPMG's U.S. Media & Telecommunications practice. "It's getting to older generations as well, as there are more and more options in front of them."

The study shows that 53 percent of the total respondents said they own a smartphone and 26 percent own a tablet. The study also reveals that consumers’ spend roughly the same amount of time on their smart phones and tablets as they do watching TV.

This new shift of attention means that TV shows now have to fight with even more mediums to catch the consumer’s attention. While it may seem like the obvious move for media providers is to shift their medium into a more tablet-like device, the study shows otherwise. KPMG found that even though consumers’ attention is split by multiple devices, most people still prefer to watch TV shows, movies and other videos on their TV. Only 14% of those surveyed prefer to watch video on their tablets or smartphones.

So, how are TV marketers fighting to get our attention back? Media providers are collaborating with tech providers to create new devices that feed our growing hunger for interactive media. These news devices, also know as "smart TVs," focus on online interactive media, internet TV and on-demand streaming media. Consumers are beginning to watch shows on Netflix, HBO GO and Hulu instead of viewing shows on traditional broadcast media.

“The move to digital has had a dramatic impact on how we consume music, publishing and newspapers. But we are still early in the process of a transition to digital anytime-anywhere availability across all media sectors,” Wissmann said.

The KPMG study was based on a global survey of 9,000 people in nine countries including China, the U.K., and the U.S.