Multiscreen users avoiding TV ads

Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 20-10-2011

Tablets and smartphones may well already be de facto second screens when it comes to watching content but their increased usage is detracting from TV advertising according to new research from Strategy Analytics.
The analyst’s Digital Home Observatory report, “Multi-Screen User Behaviours in the Home,” worryingly has found that people who use personal devices such as tablets and smartphones at the same time as watching TV are actually ignoring television commercials almost completely.

“Simultaneous use of several screens is a behaviour that is being readily adopted and has quickly become the main way that early adopters choose to experience watching TV,” says Caroline Park, Senior Analyst and the report’s author. “Multiscreen users very rarely concentrate solely on a television show in its entirety, and while this presents challenges to the TV industry, it also offers new opportunities for viewer engagement.”

The research also notes that high impact scenes on television screen can divert user attention away from personal devices, while television advertising diverts attention toward them. It found that TV ad breaks have an impact on casual games played on personal devices with survey participants preferring games which didn’t take long to complete, or which were not time-dependent, so that they could fit their games activity into the ad breaks.
“Understanding when and how `focus shifts' between the TV and personal devices occur is key to delivering a superior multiscreen user experience, as well as providing an opportunity to retain the attention of viewers on advertising,” Park added.