In a multiscreen world, everything is online

Multi Screen User Behavior Analysis

One does not require to browse any strategic research to acknowledge the growth of digital devices. It is more than apparent now that consumer is not going to stay happy with just a single (TV) screen. From Television to PC to Mobile phones to Smartphones & now Tablets, consumer is hungry for more & more screens to satiate his hunger for information, content & communication. With the advent of more & more devices, consumer’s attention span on any single device is getting minimal but his habit of screen hopping is rising exponentially. The trend is certainly in the favour of new age media specialists who have learn to thrive in randomness.

There are few eye opening trends which have forced us to look at Multi Screen user behaviour as the next big wave in the media industry, not just from theoretical perspective but from pure business standpoint as well, here’s why:

If you notice the graph below, according to the latest comscore reports, Almost 40% of total TV viewing audience across all age groups (in US) are showing light TV viewing

US Average TV viewing per week ( by age group ) - Comscore 2013

The trend doesn’t change much on weekends(refer to graph below) where Almost 40% viewers are falling in zero to light viewership status. This clearly suggests that consumption is shifting in big numbers to other devices.

US Weekend TV viewing analysis (by age group ) - Comscore 2013

Lets look at couple of more interesting statistics in this regard. To tell you honestly, I was not surprised by this one, especially when I myself an owner of multiple information/ communication devices.

According to comScore data, Over 70% of US consumers (all ages) are now using TV & PC in the same room

US Multi Screen viewership Pattern Analysis - Comscore 2013

Close to 65% are watching TV while surfing computer at the same time.

US TV Watching while using other gadgets like PC
It is however even more interesting to see what these users are surfing while they are watching TV. According to comScore data,
Multi Screen Marketing - reasons for watching TV shows online
57% of audience at least once watch their TV show online.
This is a great eye opener for all broadcast companies to rejig their programming strategy. This can open up not just new revenue opportunities for all content owners but a step towards a handshake between traditional & new media marketing companies.

Alarmingly, 67% users are watching their favourite shows online.

because they missed it on TV or they want to match it to their schedule, classic example of a modern family who is on the move or hectic lifestyle/busy with jobs/ kids at home with remote control in their hands.

The statistics above clearly demonstrate a paradigm shift in the social landscape which is now becoming more predominant as the number of nuclear families increasing day by day. As media & marketing professionals, we cannot afford to have a narrow point of view about things simply because the line between online and offline is about to vanish.

Before I sign off here, I would like to leave you with this Keynote speech  on “Winning with Mobile in a Multi-Screen World” from Bon Mercado Head of Mobile, Google

Digital Trends : Mobile destroyed TV prime time

Latest digital trends suggest that Mobile devices have literally disrupted the content consumption habits of audience which killed TV prime time.

It is no rocket science anymore that mobile (or mobile devices) have become the lifeline of billions of people on the planet and are here to stay.

Needless to say, the ad-world has sufficiently warmed up to this massive opportunity and the pace of growth in the mobile industry across the board is already crossing double digits comfortably.

A lot of people have started to believe that mobile can become the next prime time media option for the advertiser. However, in my opinion, it has already devastated the concept of prime time by virtue of being the only media that allows content access possible anytime & anywhere.

Globally, television audience is no longer living a uni dimensional life. With Facebook, Twitter & YouTube, television has become a Timeless social experience.

In Connected Life, a study of over 55,000 internet users worldwide, TNS found that almost half of people (48%) who watch TV in the evening simultaneously engage in other digital activities, such as using social media, checking their emails or shopping online.

While our love affair with television endures, TV sets alone are no longer enough to satisfy our appetite for content, driving the growth of online media and ‘screen-stacking’ as a result.

We’ve already passed that stage of time when mobile user numbers were part of “tea-time conversations”. Now this has entered a fresh era of serious monetary business discussions with complex analysis & customer targeting methodologies making the first 3-4 slides in every RFP presentation. The marketing boardroom discussions have transitioned from “should we do something in mobile” to “mobile first strategies“.

In India, all the large advertising spenders are constantly re-writing their digital briefs for their agencies to tap into the ever increasing smartphone audience. Most of the brands are looking at their mobile strategy in silos (or compartmentalized) whereas mobile has already touched a significant mass and has become mainstream media long ago.

Other than the usual suspects of dotcom brands like travel OTAs & eCommerce companies like Flipkart, Snapdeal & Amazon, not many players have been able to make a significant dent in the mobile space (check out the 2014 popular android apps in India )

Meaningful Mobile Content in Multiscreen World

According to an audience survey conducted by Exacttarget, there are some interesting data points that are hinting towards a need to serve meaningful content with seamless experience across all type of devices.

  • Easy access to content across devices and platforms is increasingly critical to consumers: More than nine out of ten consumers say that access to content however they want it is somewhat or very important; 59% say it’s very important. Similarly, 83% say a seamless experience across all devices is somewhat or very important.
  • Forty-one percent of consumers who don’t opt into text messages from brands say it’s because they don’t provide meaningful content.
  • Only 53% say they liked or followed a brand on social media from a mobile device in the past six months. Forty-six percent of consumers report that brands don’t provide meaningful content on social media.
  • 54% percent of respondents say that mobile websites don’t give enough content; 54% also say it’s easier to find information on mobile websites—so while mobile-optimised sites are more user-friendly, they’re currently insufficient.
  • With all these areas of improvement in mind, two-thirds of consumers (68%) say it is somewhat or very important that companies they interact with are seen as a technology leader.

Once you would go through the report, you would realize how the advertising world has complicated the idea of mobile marketing for any brand and I quote,

Marketers often think of mobile as an entire category of non-computer technology: smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and so on. Contrastingly, consumers tend to view mobile as a single device: their smartphones