Despite the influx of new media technologies such as smartphones and streaming video services, live television as watched on a big set still dominates the viewing landscape, according to a recent report from the United Kingdom’s regulator of the communications industry, Ofcom. But viewers are splitting their attention more often, simultaneously chatting remotely with friends about the show they’re watching or doing unrelated activities like checking e-mail. Currently about 16 percent of all U.K. viewers multitask daily while watching TV, and 25 percent do so at least once a week.
Average daily hours spent watching television per capita.
Multitasking activities viewers are doing in addition to watching television.Ofcom defines a “media mesher” as someone who multitasks with activities that are directly related to the television show being watched. A “media stacker” performs activities unrelated to the show.
Most popular meshing activities.
Most popular stacking activities.
Devices used for multitasking (multiple devices may be used).
This article originally appeared in print as “More Viewing, Less Attention.”