Google signals multiscreening shift

31 August 2012

NEW YORK: Multiscreening has gone mainstream in the US with consumers switching between up to four different "screens" during the average day, Google-commissioned research has indicated.

Market research firm Ispos and branding firm Sterling Brands carried out the new study for the search firm, finding that 90% of users move between devices "sequentially" to accomplish a goal such as booking flight tickets.

Almost as common as "sequential screening" - moving between devices such as smartphones, PCs, tablets and TV - was "simultaneous screening", where two or more of these devices were used at the same time.

Google suggested that over three in four (77%) of viewers now watch TV while using another screen.

The report urged marketers that it is important to address these shifting habits.

"Sequential screeners will start interacting with you on one device and then pick up where they left off on another, so making experiences seamless between devices is key," report author Dai Pham, a group product marketing manager at Google, said.

For simultaneous screening, Google advised that advertisers look into "cross-media" opportunities, supplementing TV shows with online content.

According to the report, 80% of searches on smartphones are spur-of-the-moment, and over half of these searches are goal-oriented.

"This combination of device accessibility and spur-of-the-moment usage means ... businesses have to make sure they're present and optimized across multiple screens," Pham added.

Data sourced from Google; additional content by Warc staff