Advertisers who think it is better for consumers to see their ads on larger screens may want to think again. New research has found that smaller screens are more effective in capturing the attention of viewers.
Just 14 percent of viewers say they multitask on other devices then watching content, such as TV shows, on their smartphones. However, as screen size grows, so does the desire to multitask. Twenty-seven percent of tablet users admit to multitasking on other devices when viewing content on their tablets and 31 percent of people watching content on computers — desktop and laptops— say they multitask. Thirty-four percent of people who view content on televisions also say they multitask on other devices.
At the same time, respondents who watched content on smartphones were most likely to engage in actions online related to the show. Thirty-nine percent of respondents who watched content on their smartphones say they were likely to look up show information or post about shows on social networks. Just 21 percent of TV viewers, 27 percent of tablet viewers and 31 percent of computer viewers say they also engage in those behaviors.
"This research suggests greater audience measurement needs to be directed at smartphone viewing," said Joanne Burns, head of research for 20th Television Fox and a member of the Council for Research Excellence's (CRE) Media Consumption and Engagement Committee. "People are bringing devices from room to room, and out of the home, and on their commutes. TV sets still rule in the home, even for the younger demographics — but elsewhere, and even in the home for multitaskers, smartphones are becoming an important device for viewing professional TV content. It all goes to convenience and portability; more people are watching more TV — everywhere — and increasingly on smartphones."
The research, which was conducted by research firm Chadwick Martin for the CRE, polled close to 6,000 participants. The CRE is a group of executives from the media and advertising industries.
The researchers also found that mobile TV viewers are 35 years old on average. Those viewers are also more likely to have graduate degrees and have a higher income level. Additionally, the researchers found that mobile viewers are more likely than traditional viewers to use social media to talk about TV and shows.
"These insights to how people screen-shift TV content show new opportunity to reach a desirable audience, and emphasize the need to design future measurement to capture online and in-app viewing," said Laura Cowan, research director at LIN Media and a member of the CRE's Media Consumption and Engagement Committee.