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BizReport : Research archives : February 12, 2016

Goodbye second-screening, hello switch-screening

It may be the biggest screen in the living room, but its dominance is waning, according to new research from the Internet Advertising Bureau.

by Helen Leggatt

The era of the second screen may be coming to an end, to be replaced with 'switch-screening', according to Internet Advertising Bureau (UK) in-depth research.

Today, it appears that all screens are equal with just 50% of the more than 1,000 people in the UK surveyed saying that the television is the focal point of their living room. Instead, 70% say they now use a connected device while watching television, rising to 87% among those age 16 to 34.

Furthermore, the research found that the common perception that device use takes place during ad breaks is also changing. Activities such as checking emails, social media, messaging and even online shopping are taking place during television programs and there was little discernable difference in activity during ad breaks. In fact, biometric data collected during the study via skin sensors to measure Electrical-Dermo Activity (engagement) reveals that 60% of the time a person is most highly engaged while watching television is in non-television related activity, such as using a digital device or talking to someone.

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"Second screening is ingrained to such a degree that all screens are now equal, there's no hierarchy, only fragmentation of attention - actually switch-screening is a much more accurate term," says Tim Elkington, the IAB's Chief Strategy Officer. "Furthermore, entertainment is only a small part of the living room media activity. It's now a multifunctional space where people jump between individual and group activities, be it shopping, social media, emails, work or messaging."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: advertising, consumer behavior, IAB, mobile, second screen, television

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