It wasn’t too long ago that advertisers were fighting for prime time slots in TV watching. Now, it seems that competition for audience has spread on to many screens…from cell phones to tablets. The TV still rules the living room for the most part but it has the company of another type of screen in presence. In fact, current research shows that computers/tablet/phone screens are just as popular as TVs. Some of that has to do with age demographics and accessibility. For instance, the device we choose to use is often driven by our context: location, time and what we want to accomplish. It is obvious that multi-screen is here to stay.
• SIMULTANEOUS – Most of the time multi-screen viewing is being used is to split attention to disparate purposes. 90% of media interactions are screen-based (with over 40% occurring on smartphones). Viewers are simultaneously watching TV while browsing the web on smartphones, laptops, or tablets. It is crucial these various screens need to work together.
• SEQUENTIAL – More of a business related from, it refers to product discovery. Moving from one device to another while doing research is an example.
• COMPLEMENTARY – When one device “helps” the other. For instance, you are watching something on TV and you decide to “look up” something that got your attention. This category also covers the convenience of working together with another device when recognizing a saved shopping cart for example.
The use of multiple screens is beneficial to us and advertisers. It can make us more productive since we have the ability to multi task (think paying bills online while catching up on your favorite show). In addition, smartphones are the backbone of our daily media interactions. They have the highest number of user interactions per day and serve as the most common starting point for activities across multiple screens. We spend approximately 5 hours of our leisure time in front of screens each day and we might as well make that time as efficient as possible.