A study by Nielsen has looked into how many users use their tablets and phones while watching TV, comparing device use between the US, UK, Germany, and Italy. The most striking stat is that 88 percent of tablet owners and 86 percent of smartphone owners in the US use their devices while watching TV once a month. For 45 percent of tablet owners (41 percent for smartphone users), it's a daily activity, while the two activities go almost-hand-in-hand for 26-27 percent of users.

Nielsen-simultaneous-tv-tablet

The UK showed similar usage levels to the US, however German and Italian device owners are far less likely to double up on screens. Only 71 percent of tablet users in the countries ever use their slates while watching TV, a number which falls even further — to about 65 percent — for smartphone users. The research found that people were most commonly using their devices to send email, though plenty of people used their tablets and phones as a TV companion, looking for information on the shows that they watch. There's no mention of onscreen hashtags in the report, though — surely a primary use for some people with the latest episode of The Apprentice?