Viewers Prefer Live Mobile Video For Rio Olympics

It has only been four years since the last Olympics, but consumer expectations have evolved drastically in that time.


Mobile devices will be the primary screen for many viewers this year, according to a survey of 456 individuals by Phunware, a multiscreen service and software company.

Most of it boils down to choice — consumers want to choose which events to watch, and since Rio is in the same time zone as the U.S., they want live coverage as well.

In addition, 86% of consumers prefer live coverage, with three out of four consumers saying they were bothered by the lack of live event coverage during past Olympics, while 61% said the events are much less compelling/exciting to watch when they’re not live. More than half said they disliked encountering spoilers on social media as well.

Some 75% of respondents said they want to be able to choose which events to watch, and 63% said they want the ability to watch any event live, not just the most popular.

The Olympics is a celebration of the athletic talent that every country has to offer (though some have tended to turn it into a bit of a nationalistic exhibition). Of those surveyed, 43% said they want to see athletes from other countries, and 32% said they want to be exposed to new sports.

Offering modular DIY Olympic coverage that can easily be streamed from a mobile device appears to be what consumers want, and advertisers have to be aware that many eyeballs will be pulled from prime time this year.

3 comments about "Viewers Prefer Live Mobile Video For Rio Olympics".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, August 3, 2016 at 7:15 p.m.

    There are five pieces of data referred to in this story from the n=456 'individuals', and none of them support the headline including the word 'mobile' in it, nor the statement that 'mobile devices will be the primary screen...".

    Could the supprting data please be furnished?   Also, could the methodolgy for the n=456 also be reported (as is standard practice when research data is utilised)?

    Until then my outtake is that the headline and paragraph two are wishful thinking.

  2. Benjamin Frederick from -- replied, August 3, 2016 at 8:19 p.m.

    Hi John,

    As requested: 48% had used their devices to view olympics content in the past. 33% of respondants said that they were very likely to watch Rio Olympics content on a device, and 44% said that they were somewhat likely.

    53% of respondents said they were going to watch on a smartphone (as opposed to using it as a second screen or watching on a tablet).

    The survey was conducted from July 18-22, and respondents were from across the US, with 92% were between the ages of 19 and 51. 63% of them were male.

  3. John Grono from GAP Research, August 4, 2016 at 6:51 p.m.

    Thank you for the topline Ben.

    I still don't see how that translates into the headline statement "Viewers Prefer Live Mobile Video For Rio Olympics".   Was the media compartative question asked "Will you watch on a smartphone in preference to watching on another device such as a TV or tablet?"

    Smartphone penetration is 79%, TV penetration is 95% and tablet penetration is 51% in the US.

    So if your 53% is genuine preference rather than standalone usage intention, that is still only 53% of the 79% of the population that own a smartphone (or 42%).   I'm willing to bet that of the 21% who don't own a smartphone the gross majority of their Olympic viewing will be on a TV (or half of the 'real' smartphone maxima).

    You didn't report how the research was done.   How was the sample selected - probability sample or self-selected?   How was it recruited - phone landline, phone mobile, phone - both, online, intercept, mail etc?   And finally how was it conducted - pen and paper, online, landline phone, feature mobile phone, smartphone.   All of the above need to be considered in order to analyse the data - and ideally before the research is conducted.

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