According to Pew’s Internet & American Life survey 27% of voters relied on both TV and Internet to follow the Election Night coverage. When you put that in the context of 65% relying exclusively on TV, it doesn’t sound like it’s a lot. Only 6% said they monitored results only on the Internet, so it’s pretty evident that our primary screen continues to be the TV, at least for the moment. However, the more we segment the audience into the “digital native” realm, the more we see this behavior.
Use of dual screens was most pronounced among the 18- to-39-year-old segment, where 39% “dual screened” the election, as Pew calls it. As reported here:
In fact, for the under-40 crowd, it was almost as likely they would track returns on two screens as on TV alone (45%). And 28% of those ages 40 to 64 also used both media during the course of the evening. In fact, it was only in the 65+ segment where the dual-screen behavior was negligible (9%). There is a sharp digital divide in two-screen behaviors based on educational levels. Dual-screening the returns was strongest among voters with college degrees (36%) and some college education (28%), compared to those with high school or less (14%).
People have always multi-tasked while watching TV. They chat with someone in the room or on the phone. Maybe they’re eating. In my ind, this is different since either they’re ingesting the same content in a different way or perhaps they’re doing something else that requires a lot more attention – email, for example. It would be interesting to know whose content that 6% was following – the “traditional” providers of broadcast and cable news or newer sources such as Twitter so we could see if the shift in channel was joined to a shift in content providers. Either way, as a recent eMarketer piece stated:
Consumers’ attention is more divided than ever as media multitasking becomes the norm. Formerly linear consumption activity, defined by appointments with specific media, is now a tangle of simultaneous activities, some related, some not. TV remains at the center of this multitasking, but more often than not, there is another screen more directly in front of the viewer.
How are you planning your content and marketing to accommodate these changes? Are you worrying about what’s on Channel 1 while the audience is watching Channel 2 at the same time?