Consumption habits of content-hungry viewers are changing rapidly, according to global research from TNS, part of WPP’s Kantar. While television viewing remains strong, the demand for content
outside of the second screen is driving the growth of online media and so-called ‘screen-stacking’ as a result.
In Connected Life, a study of over 55,000 internet users worldwide, TNS found that almost half of people (48%) who watch TV in the evening simultaneously engage in other digital activities, such as using social media, checking their emails or shopping online.
The survey found that consumers own approximately four digital devices each, rising to five among Australian, German and UK respondents. This, combined with demand for TV and video content on-the-go, is fuelling an increase in the use of multiple digital devices at the same time.
The demand for live and on-the-go content has been amplified during the FIFA World Cup in recent weeks. Viewers worldwide are accessing this international sporting event via multiple devices at home and on the move, while also engaging in conversations on social media platforms.
The desire to access TV shows at all hours of the day is also driving online TV usage. One quarter (25%) of those surveyed worldwide watch content on a PC, laptop, tablet or mobile daily. This rises to one third (33%) in mainland China and Singapore and 32% in Hong Kong, where 'phablets' are increasingly popular.
In Hong Kong, more people choose to watch TV and video online rather than on traditional sets. After dinner, one quarter of people (26%) tune into content on their digital devices, in contrast to 14% who switch on their TVs.
Despite this surge in online consumption, traditional TV sets still play a huge role, with three quarters of respondents (75%) sitting in front of the box every day. And three out of four viewers (76%) give TV their undivided attention while eating in the evening.
Commenting on the findings, Matthew Froggatt, Chief Development Officer at TNS, said, “In a world where multi-tasking is the norm, the context in which we watch TV is rapidly changing-- it isn’t just on the sofa at home with no other digital distractions around us. Instead, the growth in screen-stacking and online TV viewing is huge, particularly in the Asian markets, driven by a growing demand for content among viewers.
“While there is no disputing that our love of traditional TV remains, advertisers must continue to adapt to our changing viewing habits. Online devices are offering more ways to access TV and video content, meaning that brands will need to adopt a more integrated online approach in order to engage consumers.
TNS’ Connected Life study surveyed internet users across 50 countries, between March and June o this year.