Strategy Analytics: Multi-screen Users are Avoiding TV Ads

BOSTON: People using tablets and smartphones while watching TV ignore the commercials, Strategy Analytics says in its latest report examining multiscreen behaviors at home. The research drills down into how viewers shift their focus between devices.

“For example,” Strategy says, “high-impact scenes on the television screen can divert user attention away from personal devices, while television advertising diverts attention toward them.”

Caroline Park, senior analyst and author of the resulting study said, “Simultaneous use of several screens is a behavior that is being readily adopted and has quickly become the main way that early adopters choose to experience watching TV. Multiscreen users very rarely concentrate solely on a television show in its entirety, and while this presents challenges to the TV industry, it also offers new opportunities for viewer engagement.”

Park found that TV ad breaks have an impact on casual games played on personal devices. Survey participants noted that they preferred games which didn’t take long to complete, or which were not time-dependent, so that they could fit their games activity into the ad breaks.

“Understanding when and how focus shifts between the TV and personal devices occur is key to delivering a superior multi-screen user experience, as well as providing an opportunity to retain the attention of viewers on advertising,” Park said.

Strategy carried out the research in the United States and the United Kingdom in August. Sample size was not provided.