More + More Devices = More Multitasking

Watching-Tablet-TV-A2.The proliferation of media-able devices in our households (PCs, smartphones, tablets) is leading to a division of our attention when it comes to traditional television viewing and programming.

According to Accenture’s third annual “Video Over Internet Consumer Survey,” 90% of consumers watch at least some video content over the Internet. Not only are they watching more content over the Internet, but when it comes to watching traditional television, attention is increasingly more divided. According to the results, 77% of respondents said they use their computer or laptop while watching TV -- up 16% from last year. 

“It’s impressive how much multitasking is increasing,” Francesco Venturini, broadcast lead for Accenture’s media and entertainment group, tells Marketing Daily. “Many people [who are] in front of TV are doing something else. Their expectations from traditional linear TV [programming and content] are decreasing.” 

At the same time, the tablet is becoming the go-to device for multitasking while watching television. According to the survey, 44% of consumers used their tablets for multitasking (up from 33% last year). Significantly, 14% of consumers used their tablets to search for content and engage in social media directly related to the television program they were watching. 

The findings present an opportunity for broadcast and cable networks to interact with consumers much more readily and immediately than they have in the past, Venturini says. “Marketers need to understand [these behaviors] because that second device opens up more and new monetization models,” Venturini says. “[The tablet is] a perfect tool to engage the consumer with new activities which they cannot do on TV, such as social media.”

Among devices, the PC/laptop is still the top device used for these “over-the-top” (OTT) services with 65% of respondents using them to watch video content (up from 59% last year). About a third (31%) said they did the same on a mobile phone (up from 24%), while 22% said they used a tablet (up from 14%). Tablets and PCs are the preferred devices to watch longer-form video (such as movies or TV shows), according to the survey. 

When it comes to accessing these OTT services, the local providers are making inroads against larger, national brands (such as Netflix and YouTube) in providing on-demand services. According to the survey, the number of consumers using local online video providers and broadcasters rose to 40% this year, compared with 37% in 2012. Moreover, consumer trust in these local providers is increasing. When asked who they trusted most to offer video over the Internet to their traditional TV screens, more than half (53%) said their traditional TV broadcast provider, up from 32% last year. 

“Broadcasters are becoming the most-trusted providers for on-demand services,” Venturini says. “This is a reflection of the investments the broadcasters have made in the last [few] years in launching on-demand services. For the last 10 years they were very complacent in their business models. [The payoff on recent investment] is a very encouraging sign for most of the broadcasters.”

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