12 July 2014

Advertisers have to consider a multiscreen world

TV viewers are looking for additional content even as they watch TV broadcasts, driving the growth of online content and ‘screen-stacking’ activities as a result, says global research consultancy TNS in its Connected Life* study. The new behaviour has implications for businesses thinking of maximising their advertising budgets.

TNS found that almost half of people (48%) watching TV in the evening are engaging in other digital activities at the same time, such as using social media, checking their emails or shopping online. The Asia Pacific region (APAC) is ahead of this trend globally, with 54% of people across the region taking part in ‘screen-stacking’ or looking at multiple screens, while the TV is on. 

The survey also found that we own approximately four digital devices each; this is just three across APAC as a whole, but rises to five among respondents in Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Taiwan. This, combined with demand for TV and video content on-the-go, is fuelling the rise of multi-screening or ‘screen-stacking’ – the use of multiple digital devices at the same time.

“This constant connectivity across multiple devices has come to the fore during the FIFA World Cup in recent weeks,” says Joe Webb, Head of Digital, TNS Asia Pacific. He continues, “People the world over are engaging with the event in various ways across different devices – watching it on TV, tablet or mobile, whilst also engaging in conversations on social media. It’s a perfect example of how screen-stacking behaviour has really taken hold.”

The desire to watch TV shows outside of broadcast schedules is also driving online TV usage, which extends our access to the content to 24 hours a day. One quarter (25%) of those surveyed now watch content on a PC, laptop, tablet or mobile daily. This rises to one third (33%) in mainland China and Singapore and 32% in Hong Kong, where phablets are increasingly popular.

In Hong Kong, more people actually choose to watch TV and video online rather than on traditional sets. After dinner, one quarter of people (26%) tune into content on their digital devices, in contrast to 14% who switch on their TVs. 

Many of the big global media companies are already taking advantage of growing online viewing trends, offering on-demand services such as BBC iPlayer, Hulu or HBO GO, which allow people to access premium content wherever they are through their phones or tablets.

Webb continues, “It’s no surprise that we are seeing such a big trend towards screen-stacking in Asian markets – the appetite for online content is huge and growing all the time. However, TV does still have a role to play – particularly during dinner, when we don’t have hands free to navigate on other devices. Our attachment to the TV has been supported by the rise in digital set-top boxes, catch-up TV and on-demand services.

“What’s clear is that media multi-tasking is here to stay and the implications for advertisers are significant – there’s a real opportunity for those that understand how to really integrate their activity in our increasingly connected world.”

*Connected Life surveys over 55,000 Internet users worldwide. 

*Images from TNS. View the full infographic here.