People distracted by the second screen: study

A new study from Tapped Mobile, App Promo and BrandSpark finds the majority of Canadians don't browse their phone for content related to their programming.

Following last year’s Mobile Personas shopping habit study, Tapped Mobile, App Promo and BrandSpark released a follow-up, expanding the scope of their research to include more in the media consumption space.

The trio of companies surveyed 10,800 people between November and December 2013, and have just released the findings today.

The findings were divvied up into three groups based on advertisers’ demand: millennials, 18- to 29-year-olds without kids; moms, 25- to 54-years-old with kids at home; and men 25- to 54-years-old.

While traditional cable broadcast still makes up the majority of video consumed (with 86% of moms, 78% of men and 65% of millennials saying they watch the platform more than six hours a week), there’s a growing presence of over-the-top services in people’s lives,  says Jed Schneiderman, president of Tapped Mobile.

All three segments consume Netflix at the same rate, the study found, with 32% of respondents in all three categories saying they watch the digital streaming service more than six hours each week. YouTube makes up 49% of millennials’ and 41% of males’ six-hour-plus consumption. Moms seem to watch less of the video site, with only 20% saying they watch the platform during an average week. Traditional broadcasters’ streaming services made up 36% of millennials, 22% of moms and 34% of men’s consumption habits.

The study also revealed findings around the second-screen phenomenon that might be troubling to TV advertisers. While only 23% of moms claim to use a smartphone, tablet or computer while watching TV, 30% of men and 54% of millennials did. However, very few of them are browsing content related to what they’re watching, with 84% of millennials and 87% of moms saying what they check out online differs from what’s on the TV. This number drops among men to 73%, and Schneiderman says this is because men tend to be researchers.

“There’s a higher incident of looking at QR code and product information [among men],” he says. “Moms [for example] tend to be more social: they spend more time emailing, checking out ratings and reviews, texting and reaching out to their social circles. I think men are more linear. If they see something, they want to learn more about it. We saw that 13% of men search for information related to advertising based on what they saw on TV, whereas the same data point for moms and millennials was only 9%. It’s not a massive number – only a four-point difference – but it suggests that if a product message can be effectively communicated to a male audience, they’re more likely to follow up and seek more information on their phone or tablet.”

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