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Viewers not engaging with second screen TV apps

Viewers are not commonly using apps designed to enhance second-screen engagement with TV, like Viggle and Zeebox, according to a new study by NPD Group.

The research firm said that while multitasking is common, US viewers are less willing to use their second-screen devices to interact directly with applications designed specifically for the TV programs they are watching.

Among US TV viewers who use second-screen devices, only 47% participated in second-screen activities, according to the study. Those that did interacted most by visiting IMDb, Wikipedia, and social networks.

“Viewers are interested in searching to find further information about TV shows they are watching, but they are not using games and other immersive applications created as a component of the programming,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis at NPD.

“This situation creates a potential diversion from advertising, and it will take a combined effort from content owners, advertisers, broadcasters, and others to present an aligned second-screen experience that will appeal to viewers.”

In spite of this, NPD found that at 88%, nearly all US households own at least one device that can be used as a second screen, with 87% US entertainment consumers reported to be using at least one second-screen device while watching television.

PCs were the devices most used simultaneously with TV, at 60%, followed by smartphones at 55% and tablets at 49%.