Internet Browsing and TV Watching: A Match Made in Distraction Heaven

Web surfing

Nielsen conducted a survey recently to find out who exactly is going online while watching major TV events like the Oscars or Super Bowl–and discovered what those people are doing online in the first place.

Simultaneous Web surfers and TV watchers are getting more and more common: viewership for major TV events may change, but simultaneous Web use is consistently going up. In 2009, 12.8% of Super Bowl viewers and 8.7% of Oscar viewers browsed the Internet, but in 2010, that number shot up to 14.5% and 13.3%, respectively. That’s interesting and all–but what exactly are these people doing online?

Turns out Oscar and Super Bowl viewers have mostly the same online surfing habits. Facebook, Google, and Yahoo took the top three spots (though not in the same order) for viewership during both the Oscars and Super Bowl, and AOL, MSN, Live, YouTube, MySpace, and Comcast all appeared in both top ten lists. The difference? The order is changed between the Oscars and Super Bowl, but the only trade is the appearance of Wikipedia during the Academy Awards and eBay during the Super Bowl.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to turn my attention back to the TV.

[Nielsen, image from The Onion]