ROME: Although Italy lags behind the UK and Scandinavian countries in terms of smartphone user penetration, recent research suggests a significant proportion of Italians use their devices to visit social networks while watching TV and to view ads.
According to analysis from eMarketer, based on a study conducted by comScore MobiLens in March 2014, almost half (46.3%) of smartphone users in Italy who use their device for any TV-related activity also access social networks.
With smartphone penetration in Italy estimated to account for 41.8% of the population in 2014, or 25.8m people, this means that more than 12m users are likely to visit social networks while watching TV this year.
Furthermore, a high proportion then go on to click through to ads if prompted by a TV programme to visit social networks.
Under these circumstances, if prompted, more than half (54%) say they then click on an ad – an impressive click-through rate (CTR) because it equates to 6m people.
Other social networking activities performed by smartphone users in Italy include reading posts from organisations, brands or events, which 69.4% of those prompted by a TV programme to visit a social network take part in.
Over two-thirds (71.5%) say they follow a posted link to a website, 65.2% read posts from public figures and celebrities while almost exactly half (50.2%) receive coupons and discount offers.
Smartphone penetration is also forecast to rise in Italy, as in every other Western European country, over the next three years although Italy is still expected to remain below the regional average.
By 2017, eMarketer expects 57.8% of Italians to own at least one smartphone compared to a Western European average of 65.1%, which will include rates of 65.8% in the UK, 79.3% in the Netherlands and as much as 83.2% in Denmark.
Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff