Mobile apps analytics and advertising company Flurry tracked mobile app usage across various stages of the Super Bowl. What they found was that there was one particular segment that had people glued to their televisions.
Flurry began the study with the belief that the "second screen" (a mobile device, the "first screen" being the TV) is still "largely more disruptive than complementary." Basically, people aren't really using their devices in tandem with the TV - more like opposed to it. When something happening on the TV isn't interesting to a viewer, they are then likely to pick up their iPhone and start playing Angry Birds.
Their study pretty much corroborated that belief. Big moments in the Super Bowl broadcast equated to decreases in app usage. People put down their phones for things like the coin toss and for kickoff.
But the longest sustained period of time with a drop in app usage covering the entire Super Bowl came during Madonna's halftime performance.
Whether people were watching because they thought it was awesome, or because it's hard to look away from a train wreck - the point is people were tuned in.
From the post:
Studying overall trends reveals a highly correlated, inverse relationship between app usage and game, halftime and commercial events. Generally, app usage increased steadily over the first three quarters of the game, showing the challenge in holding peoples’ attention over several hours. However, because this year’s game was close throughout, including an exciting fourth quarter finish, app usage remained relatively checked.
Noticeably, app usage declined significantly during the last part of the fourth quarter. The most clearly visible change in app usage occurred during Madonna’s half time show, where app usage remained consistently low for the longest, sustained period of time. From this, we conclude that Madonna strongly held viewers’ attention on the first screen and was a major draw for the Super Bowl this year.
Advertisement popularity was also found to link to a decrease in mobile app usage. The ad that saw the smallest use in apps was Elton John's Pepsi commercial.