February 11, 2014

Users are more engaged the more screens they use

Written By Martin Sandhu

Second screening is a product of modern technology, with the range of mobile devices, TV’s and computers we all own and shortening attention spans using more than one device at once is becoming common-place. Logic would assume that engagement would drop the more focuses a person has, but according to new research that isn’t the case.

A survey last year found that 65% of mobile consumers had used a second screen, be it a TV, PC tablet or another phone, whilst browsing the mobile web. 89% admitted using a second screen when reading a newspaper or magazine or listening to the radio. Surprisingly the research from The On Device Research from MEF found that the more screens someone uses, the more likely they are to buy, browse or engage, with 69 % of second screeners making a purchase in 2013 compared with 65% of the total sample. This increases to 79% for those using three screens and for someone using five screens the purchase likelihood is 85%.

Speaking to The Drum CEO at MEF, Rimma Perelmuter “CBS is thought to have made $10-12 million from second screening around this month’s Super Bowl in the US – just the latest example of how this new consumer behaviour is becoming a real opportunity for businesses.”
This is a huge opportunity for businesses, but one that requires a multi-channel approach. While speculation of the decline in TV advertising has been around for years, second screening could change that. A well-placed, effective advert could instantly drive a spike in website traffic and revenue, given the availability of mobile phones. This can be reversed too, companies looking for increased brand awareness have already started to tweet along with TV shows they know their audience will be watching, simply by doing this and engaging with their target audience they can increase their reach and build brand advocates. This becomes even stronger when product placement is used, for example a clothes company who have provided items for a reality TV show can combine both the sales and brand-building elements of second screening to further their campaign.