Over a quarter (26 per cent) of adults have shared media and/or content across separate devices via their home WiFi network, according to findings from market research firm YouGov.
The report – Connected Devices, 2014 – found that just over a third (34 per cent) of adults specifically look for devices they can connect to their existing devices across their home network. YouGov finds that the most popular form of content sharing between devices is viewing photos on the TV set, followed by streaming music from a smartphone, laptop or tablet to a speaker system in the home.
YouGov’s research shows the scale of ‘media multi-tasking’ – using more than one device at the same time for a related or completely different purpose. The report finds that over half (56 per cent) now watch TV while browsing on the Internet and over one in five (21 per cent) start an activity on one screen and continue it on another.
The study points to the sale of social media use with over a quarter (27 per cent) watching TV while using sites such as Facebook or Twitter to comment or share content with others. However, this is very much skewed towards younger people. More than four in ten (42 per cent) 16-24 year-olds use social media while watching TV, compared to 37 per cent of 25-39 year-olds, 28 per cent of 40-54 year-old and 15 per cent of over-55s.
YouGov also explored the barriers to connecting devices. Among those who do not presently connect devices together or share media across devices, half (50 per cent) have no interest in doing so. However, for many a lack of understanding is preventing adoption. Around a third (34 per cent) do not have the knowledge, over a quarter (28 per cent) say it seems too complicated and just under one in five say they didn’t know devices could be connected.
James McCoy, YouGov Research Director, said that with smartphone penetration now exceeding 70 per cent and tablets set to be in half of households by the end of 2014, connected devices are now ubiquitous. “Until now, though, relatively few people actually connected them – but this is starting to change. It looks like have now reached critical mass on this. With so many people now either connecting, or having the ability to connect, different devices the levels of use will increase greatly. While consumers who simply don’t want to create a home ecosystem may never do so, those who currently lack knowledge in the area will start to increase their understanding as increasing numbers of people connect.”