TV was once the focal point of every living room nationwide. Over the last decade however, it has slowly become background media as our attention turned to laptops, tablets and smart phones.
A recent study released in early February by The Internet Advertising Bureau indicates that devices now equally compete with TV for consumer’s attention. The study went on to describe the extent to which connected devices have changed traditional ways of watching TV.
Only 50% of online adults in the UK report that their TV is still the focal point of the living room, whilst 70% state that they use a connected device whilst watching TV. This figure rises to 87% in the 16-34 year age bracket.
Connected devices and modern life means behaviour in the living room is no longer determined by TV shows and ad breaks. Behaviour is determined by the natural rhythm of device usage. Essentially, content viewed via a mobile device is as engaging as the content on TV. Connected devices, however, deliver a personalised on-demand feed of information where interesting content can always be found to engage with.
It is reported that during TV programmes 34% of viewers check emails, whilst 31% send text messages and 25% shop online. It used to be the assumption that people crammed non TV behaviour in between ad breaks. This is now known to be correct. Emails are checked consistently during a TV show and during ad breaks, whereas text messaging increases only 1% during ad breaks.
Going online during ad breaks via a connected device is the most popular activity at 35%. 15% of people choose to talk to someone who is present, 13% leave the room and 8% channel surf.
The term ‘second screen’ has already become obsolete. ‘Switch-screening’, where a person shifts from TV to mobile device and back again, is far more accurate term in the modern day. This highlights that whilst TV still delivers engaging content, it doesn’t manage to all of the time. Instead people pick up their phones, tablets and laptops and find things they want to engage with.
People are no longer saving up their device content for the ad breaks but turning to the most interesting source available in that moment. The future of our living rooms will continue to change, and marketers must plan for the modern day living room.