Traditionally, media and advertising is informed by frequency and reach calculations. Researchers can tell us when the peak time for TV consumption is and subsequently, the price of peak commercial slots is hiked up as brands anticipate a greater return on investment. Such measures however, are becoming less meaningful given the changing landscape of media consumption – the price of a commercial surely cannot be determined solely by viewing figures when all eyes and ears are no longer focussed on the big screen, customers are also second screening.
Over past few years, conversation around the second screen has increased among advertisers, marketers and media planners. Mobile phone penetration has increased in the USA to over 80% in 2015 and the living rooms star performer is no longer the TV. Instead, the stage is shared with a plethora of devices – smartphones, tablets, e-readers, wearable technology and laptops – no doubt the list will only grow longer over the next few years.
The living room evolution
With the increasing requirement to leverage cross-platform advertising, more context is needed. Knowing that the peak time for TV consumption is between 8 and 9 PM is no longer the Holy Grail. We need more context rich data to reach the customer effectively in this era of multi-screening. There may even be the opportunity to enhance engagement using cross-media techniques within the right context, at the right time.
RealityMine’s TouchPoints e-diary is uniquely positioned to provide cross platform media behaviours and contextual data from panellists. This has enabled our analysts to investigate how the second screen is currently being used by Americans viewing across genres and picking up a second screen device when attention on the big screen slips. Here we can learn more about how second screen applications are best targeted based on the genre of content that they are related to, and the mind-sets during which consumers are most likely to use cross-platform media.
The radar chart below displays the reach of digital content consumption during viewing by TV genre. News programs have the highest proportion of multi-screening, with 29% of all viewers using a mobile as a secondary device for digital engagement.
Second screening during news viewing
The high instance of multi-screening among viewers is perhaps not so surprising; the fragmented nature of news programs means that engagement is likely to fluctuate dependant on the stories broadcasted on any given day. Furthermore, the opportunities during news viewing to explore further streams of information via a second device are high.
RealityMine’s analysis has revealed the split in app use among news TV viewers using mobile phones, shown in figure 2 below. Social networking app usage is the most popular form of second screen activity among viewers of all genres, including news. Games and news apps were also popular among people viewing the news – 7% of all news viewers access these app categories via mobile during TV viewing.
Sports fans and complementary content
Sport fans are notoriously in a league of their own when it comes to emotional engagement in their hobby – this is supported by numerous studies in the field of fan psychology, with findings indicating neurochemical, hormonal and psychological changes are heightened in sport fans viewing their team’s performance. The heightened levels of engagement of sport fans is also apparent during viewing in relation to their multi-platform viewing behaviours. Our analysis found that among sport TV viewers engaging in multi-platform consumption, 13% were accessing sporting applications – including mobile sport website content, this figure rises to 17.5% of Sport TV fans.
Research conducted by RealityMine with viewers of the 2015 College Football Play-offs revealed that talking about the action is the primary use of additional devices during viewing of the games via social networking sites, apps and communication applications. This supports the case that social networking via mobile during sport TV viewing is complementary to the viewing experience.
How second screening should influence your advertising strategy
The above cases around multi-screen content consumption alongside news and sport TV viewing are just two examples indicating just how vital an understanding of the context of TV viewing is in planning cross-platform advertising campaigns. Without understanding where consumers are likely to consume digital media, cross-platform campaigns will be less likely to enhance viewer experience.
If sport fans turn to social media in excitement or frustration relating to the game-play on the big screen, they are less likely to be receptive to a demographically targeted ad relating to another product area. They are focused on sports and keen to be engaged in real time conversation about the action. They will be more receptive to that same ad when they are in a different mind-set and situation.
Therefore, the question that advertisers need to address in their strategy is how complimentary content can be used to maximise effectiveness by understanding and capitalising on peak engagement opportunities. As well as opportunities to best transform potentially distracting content into complimentary material, driving engagement from customers ‘in the moment’.
While the new world of second screening adds a new dimension to the layers of customer behavioural understanding that modern advertisers must have, it also holds great rewards when advertising dollars can achieve social views and recommendations for free!