Alternate Screens Expand TV, Video Audience
TV may still be king, but the fragmenting video landscape has increasingly challenged media buyers in how and where they allocate budgets in
a multiscreen world. Given that 120 million people in the U.S. now have smartphones, and 57 million own tablets, the potential viewing audience beyond the TV screen has grown enormously in recent
“There’s some real numbers here that will wake people up if you shake them a little bit," said Lynn Bolger, executive vice president advertising solutions, at comScore, during a presentation Friday at the OMMA Video Summit conference. She noted that adoption of tablets has been especially swift, rising much faster than for smartphones.
That has translated into rapid growth in the mobile video audience, which has grown 282% (across smartphones and tablets) during 2012 compared to just 8% on PCs. Keep in mind that mobile video was starting from a much smaller base -- rising from 2 million to 14 million, compared to 32 million to 38 million on the desktop screen.
Bolger pointed out that people are overwhelmingly (91%) using tablets at home, typically in the living room and bedroom. Hence, the rise of two-screen viewing. More than half (53%) of those surveyed by comScore said they use their tablet while watching TV, with more than half of that group (56%) doing activities related to what they are watching.
When it comes to time of day, tablets are used mostly in the evening, in line with TV prime-time hours. Regardless of when and were people are using tablets, they are also the preferred device for mobile browsing and app use. People spent twice as much time on the mobile Web on iPads on average compared to iPhones, and seven times as long with apps.
Looking more broadly at the digital audience across devices, comScore estimates the unduplicated audience on PCs, tablets and smartphones in the U.S. at about 235 million. Through its new cross-platform measurement service, the company has also begun to rank digital properties based on their combined desktop Web, video and mobile audience.
More mobile-centric companies like Zynga, Pandora, AccuWeather and Groupon have seen the biggest gains from the inclusion of mobile traffic. But Bolger pointed out that traditional publishers -- including The New York Times and ESPN -- have also seen a boost in incremental traffic coming from mobile, at 77% and 41%, respectively.
Vimeo, Hulu, Sony Online, Disney Online and Discovery saw the biggest audience gains coming from video channels. Focusing just on traffic on smartphones and tablets, Disney, Discovery, Dow Jones and The Weather Channel had the largest share coming from tablets, at about 30% each.
Citing research that comScore has done in relation to sports TV content, Bolger said the firm has found audiences on alternative screens are adding to the video audience rather than duplicating the TV audience.