Tablet Sharers Went Mad In March

TV, social media and second-screening seem to be a trifecta made in advertising heaven, but the “second screen” can be a confusing carousel featuring desktops, tablets and smartphones. (And don’t forget the ultimate variable -- different operating systems.)

However, according to 33Across, an ad technology company that gathers consumer data from its online publisher partners, the tablet is coming into its own, as evidenced through some new data surrounding the recently concluded NCAA Basketball tournament.

The company says "tablet actions" increased by 16% over the course of each tournament round, peaking at nearly 30 million on March 23 -- the final day of the tournament's opening weekend. Note: the company does not measure within mobile apps, so all "actions" are from the mobile Web. For example, any copy/paste activity from a Web site would be tracked, but a retweet within Twitter's app would not.

It should also be noted that 33Across is pushing tablet data for a reason. The company recently added a new “intent impact unit” specifically for tablets. In other words, 33Across could not tag a publisher’s tablet Web site to collect data from it until recently.

But the tablet held its own -- and actually outperformed, depending how you look at it -- smartphone and desktop sharing activity related to the NCAA tournament. Per 33Across, tablet activity increased 4% on days in which basketball games were played compared to days off. Interestingly, smartphone (-2%) and desktop (-13%) activity decreased on game days. All of this data is from the month of March only.

However, we have no data with regard to total share volume. So even though smartphone and desktop shares decreased when games were being played while tablet shares increased, that's not to say tablets were the No. 1 choice among viewers when it came to sharing. 

Regardless, this data does suggests fans were drawn to their tablets on game day more so than other devices. New-age real-time marketers have tried to pitch a tent at the corner of TV, social media and second-screening -- are tablets starting to emerge as the second screen of choice?

Maybe not, but as a 33Across representative put it: "Tablet usage is growing, and second-screen sharing is a large opportunity for advertisers to capture consumer engagement."

"Tablet" image from Shutterstock.

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