The dynamics of multi-screen media consumption in the living room contextThe dynamics of multi-screen media consumption in the living room context
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
Media, policy and culture
Digitale proceedings van het Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap 2012, Leuven, 9-10 februari 2012
University of Antwerp
Today's media environment is becoming increasingly saturated. Smaller screen technologies (e.g. laptop, smartphone) have entered the living room, bearing the potential to alter consumers' relationship with television. Hence, we propose an approach that focuses on the interplay of technologies' material dimension and how they furnish the consumption of a variety of (interrelated) texts. In practice, we adopt a multi-method approach that comprises a quantitative framework enriched with a qualitative follow-up study. The survey, representative for the Flemish population (N = 1399), revealed that 21% of the respondents fit the multi-screen profile. Still, we found no effect of the amount of screens on the frequency of television viewing and the amount of social viewing. However, 'watching television' confounds with a variety of activities. A qualitative follow-up study indicates the emergence of two main strategies when using multiple screen devices. Additional screens provide distraction (e.g. reading e-mail) as well as interaction (e.g. chatting about the program). Next to television as a text (e.g. genre, live versus recorded), socio/spatial and temporal context is related to the chosen strategies as well. In conclusion, our explorative research sheds light on the changing dynamics of television viewing, when supplementary media are introduced.