TV watchers around the world spread their attention across other devices

Tamara AlesiSector Head of Media ‑ North America
December 09, 2020, 3:24 PM GMT+0

Television viewers interacting with multiple screens is common in living rooms around the world. Multi-screeners — people who use two or more digital devices simultaneously — present opportunities for brands to integrate themselves within the content which audiences are consuming.

As brands and retailers begin to focus on executing their advertising strategy for the coming year, it’s important to know that large shares of people across the world are multi-screening and therefore, multi-tasking. Adopting an omni-channel or hybrid advertising strategy can be critical in reaching audiences who tend to spread their attention across a range of digital devices.

YouGov’s new survey examines multi-screening, specifically with TV as the first screen, in 17 markets around the world. Majorities of TV watchers in all markets say they used at least one other digital device at the same time (69% of the global sample). Multi-screening is most popular in Spain, Mexico, Italy, Poland, and Denmark. And even in Germany and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — the markets with the lowest rate of multi-screening — 59% of each market still say they use a secondary digital device while watching TV.

Multi-screening in the US and UK: Which devices do people use?

Coronavirus-related restrictions in both the US and UK this winter aim to limit the transmission of COVID-19 by reducing the number of people that venture out in public. Americans and Britons will be spending more time at home as a result and, if data from the previous months are any indication, this may again lead to

increases in TV watching, streaming, and social media usage.

The global poll shows that roughly two-thirds of Britons (68%) and Americans (64%) who watch TV used at least one other digital device at the same time. The data also reveals that smartphones lead all other devices in simultaneous usage with TVs. With more than half of TV watchers in the UK and US saying they use their smartphones at the same time, mobile second-screening appears be the most efficient channel for brands to connect with audiences and drive them towards social sharing.

Laptops and tablet devices are also popular multi-screen devices in both the UK and US and with it comes the potential for different forms of advertising such as ones that lead to direct purchases.

With people all around the world spending more time at home and engaging more with media as a result of the pandemic, the scale of advertising opportunities is massive. Understanding how people spend time at home and on what devices can help guide where to direct time and spending.




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