What are we doing with our time? Changes in media consumption

Some details from the study of AdReaction.

Millward Brown—who’s known for their research on brands, media and communication—assembles their annual AdReaction study in order to help organizations adapt to the rapid changes in media planning. The latest research from 2014 analyses how multiscreen affected the building of brands in the past few years. They studied how the ways of content consumption changed and the use of multiscreen ads on television, desktop, mobile and tablet.

We are talking about a special and complex topic since we need to analyze the conversion, the possibility of contact and the users’ acceptance regarding advertisements on various platforms. It’s important to note that the study is not representative, and the questionnaire was sent to smartphones only.

The most important observations

A typical multiscreen-user consumes 7 hours of screen media daily. Among the 30 countries studied in AdReaction, in almost every single one mobile is the main screen. (Hungary, where television is yet the main screen, is an exception.) In developed countries, mobile and laptop dominates during the day with an average of 2.5 hours of media consumption and in the evening television and tablet comes in additionally.

Contrary to what most would think, people only spend 35% of screen consumption simultaneously watching TV and using other digital devices. Out of this is 14% the so called meshing (when the content on the two screens is connected) and the rest is stacking content.

The biggest opportunity for multiscreen marketing is the 65% of screen usage when only one screen is used by the consumers. This is when the multiscreen campaigns using the synergies of different screens can bloom.

The position of mobile in the multiscreen world

For a typical multiscreen content consumer mobile takes up us much as 147 minutes (35%) out of the 7 hours of screen usage. The television—once thought as undefeatable—gets now “only” 113 minutes and will probably be even less popular in the future. The advancement of digital devices is even more impressive if we look at the joint share of mobile and tablet at 47%.

This quick increase in mobile device penetration is not shown in advertisement spending. In 2013, television—with its 27% share—received the 66% of ad spending, while mobile and tablet together got only 4%. Most market researchers predict a rapid realignment for the next few years and even though the share of digital devices will triple, the weight of television ads is going to decrease slowly. (The closing of the gap between media consumption and ad spending is still a few years apart.)

National situation

Compared to international users, Hungarians are under average “screen consumers”. Opposite the global average of 417 minutes, an average Hungarian spends only 348 minutes a day looking at screens. While in Hungary the time spent watching TV (98 minutes) barely exceeds the time spent using mobile (90 minutes), the desktop usage is above global average (112 minutes).

But if we add the time spent with using mobiles and tablets then mobile devices count as the main screen—at least among the 16-44 years old population.

Most Hungarian television viewers reach for their mobiles during ads (34%) or when they remember to share something with their friends (31%)—without reference to the ongoing TV show—or when they fail to find a program worth their while (27%).
Studying the transition between the different screens, it’s obvious that the TV > mobile route’s traffic is the strongest (28%), while other transitions don’t even reach 15% on average.
Hungarian consumers accept the presence of adverts the same ratio on all screens (11-18%). Regarding efficiency mobile (43%) is the second after television (57%).

The study by Millward Brown confirms and completes previous analyses on the transformation of media consumption, like the well-known study made by eMarketer about the US market. (Which since have been “supported” by UK data as well)

We just covered bits of the AdReaction study but we endorse everyone to read the whole paper, partly because it features interesting data and also the interactive realization turned out to be pretty awesome.

September 11, 2015
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