Younger demographics far more likely to embrace second screen TV

Michelle Clancy | 30-11-2012

Use of a second screen—be it tablet, computer or smartphone—is prevalent among all age groups but highest for generations X and Y, new research has revealed.

People are anxious to move beyond the TV screen, with 78% of overall respondents looking to their computer to get more information about products they are interested in on TV, and 66% of tablet owners turning to their tablets. Age significantly impacts this finding, with 71% of tablet owners age 18-34 and 81% ages 35-44 picking up their tablets for more information (vs. 54% ages 45-54 and 56% ages 55+). And, of respondents more married people own tablets, more single people (76%) are likely to use them to get further information for products seen on TV vs. their married counterparts (63%).

A Harris Interactive poll found that there are distinct differences in online and offline behavior between various age groups, indicating multiple demographic trends that impact viewing behaviour. For instance, smartphones may be most popular among the singles set, married folks favor tablets when it comes to choosing a mobile device.

"For many of the findings, percentages zigzagged between age groups, rather than plotting a consistent bell curve—indicating how factors such as generational differences, disposable income and the influence of children on their parents impact results," said Mike Solomon, vice president, marketing strategy at The Search Agency, which commissioned the study. "Married people are often older, have more disposable income and can more easily justify superfluous pieces of technology, such as tablets. At the same time, baby boomers are often more tech-literate than their slightly younger counterparts—likely because their millennial children are pushing them to use new tools and devices."

Also identified are the situational factors impacting behavior that should be considered by mobile advertisers before creating content or directing their spend, the study concluded. "So much of what we see from the study, and the marketplace in general, is how time of day and other situational factors impact behavior," said Solomon. "Everything from age to proximity to your television or other devices impacts how and when you reach for your computer or mobile device to shop, search or get social. It's important that advertisers consider how to match content and experiences with the time of day and specific device in order to best engage users."