Affluent Americans are dual screening

5 March 2013

SAN FRANCISCO: The majority of affluent Americans frequently use laptops, smartphones and tablets at the same time as watching television, research among this audience has found.

The latest Ipsos Mendelsohn Affluent Barometer surveyed 1,055 affluent adults, defined as those claiming a household income of at least $100,000, and included 192 ultra-affluent consumers, or adults with a household income of at least $250,000.

The Barometer established that 64% of affluent Americans were dual-screening on a regular basis. Most preferred to use their laptop (63%), but almost as many used smartphones (58%) and tablets (53%).

"Technology is truly integrated into [consumers'] lives to such an extent they find it hard to stop using one device, even when they are engaged with one or two others," Steve Kraus, chief research and insights officer for Ipsos MediaCT, told the Luxury Daily.

Just over half of the sample utilised social media platforms while watching TV, with Facebook twice as likely to be used as any other network.

"Widespread media multitasking puts a higher premium on consumer engagement," noted Kraus. That means "really reaching them with messages that grab the attention of consumers and speak to important consumer values."

When asked what media channel it would be difficult to live without, fully 70% of interviewees replied it would be their laptop.

Two thirds could not live without their smartphone, but just one third referred to their tablet.

The survey also revealed that ultra-affluent consumers are more optimistic about the state of the economy and their personal prospects than the merely affluent.

Accordingly, luxury marketers should "continue to focus on higher-end, ultra-affluent consumers," said Kraus.

"Luxury growth projections are modest for affluents as a whole, and we currently see no signs of a return to the widespread aspirational luxury shopping behaviour that characterized pre-recession America," he added.

Data sourced from Luxury Daily; additional content by Warc staff