World Cup drives multiscreening

11 July 2014
GLOBAL: Almost half of all connected TV viewers around the world are now multiscreening in the evenings according to new research, with the FIFA World Cup giving this trend an additional boost.

The Connected Life study from market researcher TNS surveyed 56,600 internet users across 50 countries, exploring how technology is transforming their lives. It found that 48% of those who watched TV in the evening simultaneously engaged in other digital activities, such as using social media, checking their emails or shopping online.

TNS also noted that the demand for live and on-the-go content had been amplified during the FIFA World Cup in recent weeks, with viewers worldwide accessing the event via multiple devices at home and on the move, while also engaging in conversations on social media platforms.

The semi-final that saw host nation Brazil lose heavily to Germany also drove a record number of interactions on Twitter, the Guardian reported: the 35.6m tweets during that game far surpassed the previous high of 24.9m during the 2014 Super Bowl. At one point there were 580,166 tweets per minute, another new record,

The World Cup has seen a surge in people accessing television by alternative devices but this practice was already growing as viewers turn to PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones to catch up with their favourite shows. One quarter (25%) of those surveyed worldwide watched content daily on a digital device or a PC, rising to one third in mainland China and Singapore (both 33%) as well as Hong Kong (32%).

In Hong Kong, there are times when more people actually chose to watch TV and video online rather than on traditional sets. After dinner, one quarter of people there (26%) tuned into content on their digital devices, in contrast to 14% who switched on their TVs.

But the pull of the traditional television set is not about to disappear. Three quarters of respondents (75%) sit in front of it every day, and a similar proportion eat while watching it in the evenings.

Commenting on the findings, Matthew Froggatt, Chief Development Officer at TNS, noted that "the growth in screen-stacking and online TV viewing is huge, particularly in the Asian markets".

Advertisers would, he said, have to adopt a more integrated online approach in order to engage consumers.

Data sourced from TNS, The Guardian; additional content by Warc staff
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