Big spike in ‘dual screening’ during election night as TV viewers track results online

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By Cory Bergman 

While nearly all voters (92%) followed election returns on TV, just over one-quarter (27%) of them followed the results simultaneously on TV and the web on election night, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. For those under the age of 40, the number of “dual screeners” jumped to 39%. If you ask us, that’s a surprisingly high number; most second-screen studies just measure proximity — if people are on their devices while the TV is on — but these numbers illustrate true simultaneous engagement.

On the social front, 8% of voters said they used social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to track the results. And 16% said they were following election returns with friends in real life. Among voters younger than 40 who followed the returns, 24% followed them with friends and 12% followed the returns on social networks.

I think it’s safe to say there will be plenty of second-screen apps vying for TV viewers’ attention — from startups and networks — when the next election night rolls around. Of course, an event of this magnitude doesn’t come along very often, but as viewers become more comfortable with “dual-screening” during big events, it will become more prevalent overall.