Motivations for multi-screening: an exploratory study on motivations and gratifications

Patrícia Dias*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In contemporary society, the media landscape is complex and dynamic. Smartphones and tablets are proliferating, while the TV set is being passed over by other devices as the channel for TV content. These changes have implications on user behaviour, business models, technological platforms and content development. This article explores multi-screening, an emergent practice that combines watching TV and using a mobile device in articulation, by addressing the users’ motivations to engage in such practices. Our theoretical framework presents the state of the art of research on multi-screening and debates the main issues in the field using contributions from Mobile Communication Research and Uses and Gratifications Theory. Our empirical work consists of focus group discussions with multi-screeners, exploring the goals, needs, preferences and expectations associated with these practices. Our results identify uses where the activities on the TV and the mobile device are unrelated as more common, and two main gratifications are drawn out of these practices: utilitarian (associated with making a better use of time and being effective in accomplishing tasks) and affective (related to a constant and pressing need of being up-to-date with what is going on in the world and being connected to one’s network of relationships).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)678-693
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Communication
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Multi-screening
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
  • Television
  • Use practices
  • Uses and gratifications


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