More TV Viewers Have Eyes on a Second Screen Credit: Television Image via Shutterstock

New technology has changed many things, including the way people watch TV.  Now, research has found that following the second screen of a tablet, laptop or smartphone has become standard practice for people when watching TV.

Overall, consumers are most likely to watch TV with a laptop or PC nearby.  In fact, 42 percent of respondents say that they watch TV with a laptop or PC close by, while 17 percent say they use a smartphone to access the Internet while watching TV. Another 22 percent say they access a social networking site while watching TV.

Just 14 percent of respondents say they prefer watching TV on their mobile phone or tablet because it provides greater flexibility. Researchers say that younger consumers are more likely to ditch traditional TV for their tablets or phones.

"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," said Paul Wissmann, national leader of KPMG's U.S. media and telecommunications practice, which conducted the research. "The introduction of smart TVs is an indication of how the digital transition is accelerating to coincide with the demand of today's consumers to access anything, anywhere and at anytime. The smart TV is beginning to reveal itself as the next disruptor."

Researchers suggest that the popularity of second screens will only grow in coming years. Forty percent of respondents in the United States say they either own or plan to own a smartphone in the coming year.  Additionally, 26 percent of respondents say they either own or plan to own a tablet in the next 12 months.  

The research was based on the responses of more than 1,000 consumers in the U.S. and  9,000 consumers around the world.

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