RESTON, Va. - Three quarters of U.S. television viewers read the newspaper while they watch TV, and two thirds of them go online while they watch TV, according to a study of simultaneous media consumption released by The Media Center at the American Press Institute.

The Simultaneous Media Usage Survey (SIMM), conducted by BIGresearch, reveals a higher-than-expected level of multiple media usage. With 70 percent of media users saying they at one time or another try to absorb two or more forms of media at once, the SIMM results have implications for marketing and advertising as well as for online content providers - Who is paying attention to what, and when?

Study findings include:

  • People who regularly or occasionally watch TV and read the newspaper at the same time: 74.2 percent.

  • People who regularly or occasionally watch TV while going online: 66.2 percent.

  • What people do as they wait for downloads from the Internet: watch TV (61.8 percent); listen to the radio (52.1 percent); read the newspaper (20.2 percent).

    The Simultaneous Media Usage Study was conducted online in October 2003, using Big Research's proprietary sampling technique, with 13,414 respondents participating. The margin of error is ±1 percent.

    The study findings and details are available with a video briefing at

    Publication date: 05/03/2004