People no longer view media the way they used to. With the development of smartphones, DVRs and many other technology platforms, there are many more options that take time away from traditional TV viewing. Even though many people continue to watch TV the “old fashioned” way, there are enough people connecting to content via mobile and the internet to begin to look at them as an important target audience.
A number of groups and organizations are taking a look into how consumers are using all three platforms: TV, internet and mobile. According to a recent Google study:
- 77% of the time consumers are watching TV, they have another device
in their hands. Half of that time, it is a smartphone. It appears as
though the TV/smartphone combination is the most popular one, as 81% of
respondents said that these are the two screens they are viewing
together when they are multi-viewing.
- 66% said their multi-screen viewership often consists of smartphone/computer or TV/computer (including tablet devices). When on their smartphone, consumers say they often check email, browse the internet, connect to a social network and play games and search.
Many networks have already recognized this trend, and are taking steps to accommodate their viewers’ needs and wants. For example, many major broadcast and cable networks have made their shows available across multiple platforms by partnering with companies like Hulu and Netflix.
Some networks are creating apps where consumers can interact while they watch specific shows. VH1 has created the “Co-Star” app with the goal of having viewers join in a larger conversation. Users can comment during a show and have their comments viewed by others involved with the app at that particular time. The app further engages consumers with the addition of videos, photos and trivia games as well.
When consumers are watching TV, they’re often using their smartphones for activities unrelated to the show. The Google study indicated that 78% of the time people are dual-viewing, they are doing one thing on a particular device and something completely separate on another. For example, a consumer may be watching a reality TV show while shopping for shoes on a fashion site. They may be watching a game on TV and playing one on their smartphone, or searching for a particular actor on Wikipedia while watching one of their films on TV. Stats from VH1 gathered by the Co-Star app show that dual-viewership complements the programming only about 22% of the time.
Advertisers need to be aware of consumer viewing behavior trends. Multi-screen use is becoming more prevalent, and brands have the opportunity to look at all of their media placements holistically rather than as separate mediums. Considering overall frequency and exposure can lead to useful insights. Think about how you can reach new targets and stay top-of-mind with ads displayed across multiple platforms.