Smart devices will drive multiscreen viewing of the first 'digital Olympics'

Michelle Clancy | 20-07-2012

A U.S. nationwide poll looking into how viewers are planning to watch the Olympics this summer suggests that this year's competition will be a major driver for multiscreen content consumption. This is the first year the Olympic Games will stream all 32 sports live. And according to the study from mobile marketer Velti, 40% of viewers are planning to follow the Olympics on two or more devices, including turning to smartphones or tablets to track the games, known as the first 'digital Olympics.'

Fourteen per cent of U.S. adults who will follow the Olympic games will do so by using three or more devices.
A full 35% of U.S. adults will turn to their tablet for news and coverage, while 27% will use their smartphone. In both cases, online browsers trump apps usage. A full 77% of smartphone users watching the games will tune in using a browser, while 63% will use an app, whether it's specifically designed for Olympics coverage or is simply a general news app or social networking widget. Among tablet users, 80% will use a browser and only 58% will utilise apps.
Of those using a smartphone to follow the games, 45% will access video clips and replays, while 41% plan to stream live coverage via a browser. Fifty per cent of tablet users will watch videos and replays on their browser, while 45% will stream live coverage.
"This survey reveals that a significant number of Americans are choosing to consume Olympic content on the go, and while doing so they're overwhelmingly turning to mobile browsers," said Krishna Subramanian, CMO of Velti.
There are implications for advertising, as well. "Further, the Olympic audience is becoming more fragmented," he said. "For brands that want to reach Olympic viewers, this is an important finding as it highlights the ability to look beyond TV and focus on secondary devices such as smartphones and tablets."
As ever when it comes to multiscreen, there will be an age and gender differential in usage. Of those 18 44 years old, 44% plan to use two or more devices, while only 34% of those age 55+ plan to. Overall, men are more likely than women to follow the games on three or more devices (18% vs.11%, respectively).