TV remains primary screen as multiscreen and social grow fast
Joseph O'Halloran
| 21 November 2014
Marking World Television Day, leading TV trade bodies have released data showing just how much TV is evolving, with multiscreen and increasingly social TV presenting large opportunities for advertisers.

In essence the reports, reflecting other recent research, show how multiscreen is becoming a mainstream activity in many countries, how TV drives commentary online and how the marriage of TV and Internet-connected second screens is blossoming.

The surveys found that during peak time viewing in the UK, almost three-quarters of viewers claim to have picked up an Internet-connected device during TV ad breaks, with very little difference between age groups, social demographics or gender. Social media is also very much on the rise with the 2014 BRIT Awards in the UK seeing a vast volume of Twitter conversation, with 4.2 million Tweets about the show.

Across the Channel, 42% of French viewers aged 15-60 said that they have engaged with a TV programme via a social network, according to OmnicomMediaGroup/ Mesagraph – Social Télévision data, and 37% of Swiss say that it's "normal" and "commonplace" to use the Internet while watching TV, says the Publisuisse, Media du Future 2017 report.

Just over three-fifths of Spanish people claimed in 2013 to use a second screen while watching TV, an increase of 11 percentage points compared to the previous year said Televidente 2.0. In Sweden, 55% of viewers have used another screen (smartphone, tablet or computer) while watching TV (MMS Moving Images 2014:1). A third of people in Poland have multiscreened, and almost half of multiscreen activity (49%) is to look at content that is related to what is being watched.

Yet despite all of this new media usage, TV still retained its primacy. Thinkbox's Screen Life: TV Advertising Everywhere found that TV plays a profound role within people's homes in the UK and within the living room in particular, playing a vital role in unifying households and being a part of numerous day-to-day rituals. 98% of TV viewing in the UK takes place on a TV set, with 86% on a TV set in the living room. In Germany, 86% of all video touch points among adults 14-59 are with live linear television. The figure is similar for 14-SC, for whom 76% is linear TV.

All of this though is providing big opportunities for brands. Research in the UK has found that multiscreening in ad breaks does not affect ad recall. People who multiscreen during TV ad breaks are able to explicitly recall slightly just as many ads as the average viewer. Multiscreeners can recall two ads from the previous 15 minutes of viewing compared with the 1.9 average.