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Three-quarters of British population use a second screen while watching TV, study finds


By Jessica Goodfellow, Media Reporter

February 27, 2017 | 3 min read

Three-quarters of the British population use a connected device while watching TV, a trend that rises to 93% in the under 25 age range, according to a new report from Google that highlights the rise of smartphone adoption.

Three-quarters of British population use second screen while watching TV

Three-quarters of British population use second screen while watching TV

The Google Consumer Barometer Report, a five-year study that includes 625 thousand interviews with consumers around the world, finds that in the UK three in four people now use a smartphone, a number that has nearly doubled in five years. The average Briton uses 3.3 internet-connected devices.

The proportion of daily internet users has increased from 56% in 2012 to 68% today. What's more, the public increasingly looks to the internet when they need information, with 84% of consumers choosing the internet over other mediums.

But the rise of smartphone usage has not eclipsed the use of desktop; 65% of respondents said they access the internet the same amount on smartphone as computer. That’s almost twice as many as in 2012, when the number was 35%.

Two in five Britons use a computer, a tablet and a smartphone, compared to one in ten people five years ago. On average, the British use 3.4 internet-connected devices, an increase from 2.3 devices in 2012.

More than half of the British public prefer to do a task digitally is they have a choice; with half of smartphone users choosing their phone as an alarm clock. For one third of the public the smartphone is their primary source of news and music.

Those under the age of 25 are becoming increasingly reliant on their smartphone to find information (88% use search engines at least weekly), watch video (77% watch online videos at least weekly), interact with friends (90% visit social networks at least weekly) and go shopping (28% purchase products or services at least weekly, while 46% look for product information).

For those aged over 55, almost half (45%) of the age group uses a smartphone, with 54% of those people going online on a connected device (smartphone or tablet) while watching TV. This number increases to 93% for the under-25 generation.

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