The finding are contained in new research from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) based on a wide-ranging study among 1,050 UK consumers.
Half of adults with an internet connection said the TV is not the focal point of their living room and 70% said they routinely second screen (use a connected device while watching TV). The proportion rises to 87% among 16-to-34s.
The most popular activities include checking email (34%), instant messaging and texting (31%), and online shopping (25).
Futhermore, biometric-based research shows the online activity is not restricted to ad-breaks with more second screen activity recorded during the programme being watched than in the commercial breaks.
“Second screening is ingrained to such a degree that all screens are now equal, there’s no hierarchy, only fragmentation of attention – actually switch-screening is a much more accurate term,” says Tim Elkington, the IAB’s Chief Strategy Officer.
He added: “Furthermore, entertainment is only a small part of the living room media activity. It’s now a multifunctional space where people jump between individual and group activities, be it shopping, social media, emails, work or messaging.”