Study: 60% of Viewers Can’t Watch TV Unless Toying with Their Phones

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A new study conducted by IPG Media Lab and ad platform YuMe takes a look at the media consumption habits of 48 TV watchers from the Los Angeles area – a small sample, for sure – but it could give us a glimpse of our potential futures.

The findings demonstrate that 60% of the TV watchers toyed with their cell phones while in front of the tube, though it isn’t indicated what type of phones were actually used. Another 33% sat in front of the TV with their laptops flipped open, while 12% utilized the time to “do work.”

A meager 6% chose to watch TV the old fashioned way–distraction free.

Naturally, most of the multi-tasking took place during TV commercials, which probably doesn’t bode too well for advertisers, not even accounting for other things like DVR.

However, and as Business Insider rightly points out, advertisers would be wise to leverage consumer ad experiences across different platforms simultaneously. For instance, have a sponsor create a high-engagement app that allows users to play against, I don’t know, the Jeopardy! contestants from home. You could even flash a scoreboard on screen! (Someone please do this.)

So are we headed towards a multi-tasking era of hyper-efficiency? Or are we nearing a day when we’ll have perfected the art of leisure? In either case, the high percentage of phone fiddlers answers one of my pressing questions: How did those awful Jamster ringtones do so well?

(via Business Insider)

More on TIME.com:

Do Gadgets Really Make Our Lives More Complicated?

Study: iPad Readers Retain Less Than Newspaper Readers

One-third Use Smartphone Apps Before Getting Out of Bed

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