UK lags in smartphone domination whilst TV reigns as primary screen

Millward Brown AdReaction 2014 study outlines multiscreen journey & potential for advertising

Press release

March 17th 2014. In contrast to other countries where smartphones are used more often than the television, laptop or tablet, UK multiscreen users still favour the television, despite having the highest smartphone penetration of any other country surveyed. They spend more time daily than any other country watching TV – an average of two and a half hours a day or 36 per cent of their screen time – according to the AdReaction 2014 study, conducted by Millward Brown, the global brand, media and communications research agency. It’s the first study in the world to reveal the use, behaviour and receptivity to advertising of multiscreen users in 30 countries globally, including the UK.

TV takes centre stage in the evenings, when tablet usage also peaks (55 minutes or 13 per cent of time daily).

Daytime screen time is dominated by smartphones (111 minutes or 27 per cent of time daily) and laptops (97 minutes or 24 per cent of time daily).

As people increasingly use more than one screen to access content, they are consuming more content in less time. A typical multiscreen user in the UK for example consumes just under seven hours of screen media over the course of a day in just five hours.

This means they are using two screens at the same time for two hours every day.

However they spend 68 per cent of their time ‘shifting’ between their screens in a non-simultaneous way.

Millward Brown believes that this presents brands with opportunities to take more advantage of synergistic multiscreen advertising campaigns and exploit the gap between time spent on mobile screens and media investment.

“Most brands don’t advertise across all media all of the time,” said Martin Ash, Research Director at Millward Brown.

“However this year’s AdReaction study shows that consumers with access to multiple screens at home are using and switching between their devices regularly, albeit in different ways at different times.”

“AdReaction gives us a clearer understanding of how users make journeys between their devices which marketers can use to be more present, creating ad campaigns that are creative and enable deeper engagement with consumers wherever and whenever they are most receptive to advertising.”

Other research highlights include: -

Meshing or Stacking? – only 7 per cent of simultaneous multiscreeners are meshing: accessing related content such as watching TV while searching for programme information or chatting to their friends about the content.

Although this is lower than almost all markets, it can be very stimulating and may suit brands that favour engagement over reach.

Meshing is most likely to be undertaken by under 25s and males (via smartphones and tablets).

Nearly one quarter of those surveyed, 24 per cent, are stacking: accessing unrelated content on their other screens while watching TV.

Shifting starts with the TV – most people start ‘multiscreening’ while watching TV and continue on their tablet or smartphone.

The most common device used in sequence after TV time is the smartphone.

People more receptive to TV ads and less receptive to ads on their mobile devices in the UK, trailing the global average.

Millward Brown believes this highlights the potential for advertisers to develop mobile advertising that utilises the functionality of mobile (such as GPS) to give consumers added value and deliver an effective brand experience.

Different channels have different roles – as marketers look to leverage more devices in their communications strategies, the role of each channel is key.

Smartphones and tablets, for example, can help marketers to create purchase intent and say something highly meaningfully and different about the brand whereas the TV is good for salience and awareness.

TV remains largest media opportunity
– with the highest reach and receptivity to ads, TV remains a key channel for brands.

People are more familiar with TV ads that promote Web URLs and Facebook, but they are also more receptive to play-alongs, micro-video and interactive TV ads.

The lack of a single formula and popular approach means that UK advertisers will need to experiment with multiple ways of connecting across screens.

25-44 year olds multiscreen with TV and laptops – compared to younger multiscreeners, who are more likely to watch TV and use smartphones.

Younger people are also more frequent users of smartphones and tablets than other age groups.

Under 25s more receptive to all ad formats – especially TV and smartphone ads. They also spend less time watching TV (136 minutes daily) than those aged 25-45 years (152 minutes daily) and more of their time on smartphones and laptops.

They are also the most likely group to mesh screen use.

The main implications for marketers are: -

  • Be Consistent – the biggest multiscreen opportunity is not simultaneous connections between screens, rather a consistent presence across screens, whenever and wherever someone chooses to engage with your brand
  • Be Connected – new multiscreen behaviour offer exciting opportunities for interactions between screens. Although not all brands will be able to achieve this, second screen play-alongs can be highly popular
  • Be Considered – some screens are better than others at communicating particular aspects of your brand’s personality; review your current media mix and increase mobile spend to better reflect audience behavior. Screen usage varies a lot by time of day – understand need stages by time of day and overlay this against messaging and media planning
  • Be Concise – use mobile-friendly, shareable content that entertains first, informs second; think carefully about how to overcome resistance to ads on digital screens.┬áReceptivity is currently very high to micro which is mobile friendly and highly viral

To view the full report go here.

AdReaction Methodology

Millward Brown’s AdReaction studies have been conducted since 2001 to deliver insights on the perceptions consumers have to advertising, particularly digital formats. For AdReaction 2014 the company surveyed, via smartphone or tablet, more than 12,000 16-44 year old multiscreen users across 30 countries. Multiscreen users were defined as people who own, or have access to, a TV and a smartphone and/or a tablet. In the UK, the company surveyed 400 multiscreen users.

About Millward Brown

Millward Brown is a leading global research agency specialising in advertising effectiveness, strategic communication, media and brand equity research. Millward Brown helps clients grow great brands through comprehensive research-based qualitative and quantitative solutions. Specialist global practices include Millward Brown Digital (a leader in digital effectiveness and intelligence), Firefly Millward Brown (our global qualitative network), a Neuroscience Practice (using neuroscience to optimise the value of traditional research techniques), and Millward Brown Optimor (a strategy consultancy helping companies maximize financial returns on brand and marketing investments). Millward Brown operates in more than 55 countries and is part of Kantar, WPP’s data investment management division.

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One Response to UK lags in smartphone domination whilst TV reigns as primary screen

  1. Pingback: Brits stare at 2 screens for 2 hours a dayGoMo News

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