Our Devices Have Revived The Living Room

The TV has once again become the focal point of the living room, but only if there are mobile devices at hand.

Our Devices Have Revived The Living Room

A new report from U.K. media and telecom watchdog, Ofcom, says British families are once again gathering in the living room to watch TV. According to the study, 91% of U.K. adults watch TV on the main set each week, up from 88% in 2002. But, our second-screen devices are making their way into the living room, as well, competing for our attention and complementing our viewing experiences. Most people are using their second screen to communicate with their friends via instant message or social media while keeping one eye on the TV.


And savvy TV producers have already wised up to this, as they work with the social networks and clever tech firms like Shazam, which is eyeing a move from audio to the visual, with a canny eye on how to monetize it. The problem, however, is proving a little stickier for more traditional advertisers.

The report threw up some interesting data, and introduced two new phrases to Britain: media stacking and media meshing.

  • The number of five to 15-year-olds with TVs in their bedrooms has decreased, from 69% in 2007 to 52% in 2013.
  • 49% of people use their mobile devices while watching TV.
  • 25% share their TV intake via their phone, text, and social networks.
  • Households prefer to have one large TV in the sitting room rather than several smaller ones dotted about the house.

[Image: Flickr user El Caganer]

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.