AMSTERDAM: More than a quarter of affluent Europeans are three-screen users, embracing tablets, smartphones and PCs to access media content, according to new research, but they are not abandoning more traditional media formats.

The EMS Deep Dive, from Ipsos, interviewed 1,074 respondents from the top 13% of main income earners across the UK, France, Germany and Italy. It found that 27% of affluent individuals are not consuming less traditional media, but more media overall on tablets and smartphones.

Two other trend-setting groups were also identified. Connected TV users made up just 12% of affluent individuals, and they did not actually use the TV screen as an internet device but simply used their smart TVs to watch more TV. Heavy social media users accounted for 21% of affluent individuals, and spent an average of 2 hours and 8 minutes daily on sites such as Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

The three-screeners made a lot of use of PCs, laptops and smartphones during the day, but switched from PC or laptop to tablet in the evening. They were also more likely than affluent consumers generally to watch television.

Overall, affluent consumers spent very little time watching television on devices other than the main household TV set, which accounted for 94% of daily viewing. On a typical weekday they viewed 108 minutes on the main set, but spent just five minutes on a laptop watching television programming and one minute each on a smartphone and tablet.

At weekends, the main TV set gained an extra half hour, when 139 minutes were spent on it; other devices changed little, if at all. Laptop viewing amounted to six minutes, tablets two minutes and smartphones remained on one minute.

This group also retains an attachment to print, with two thirds of weekday reading of newspapers and magazines done on hard copy, while at weekends the proportion rose to almost three quarters.

Considering international print brands, the survey found that these were, on average, more reached by other platforms than the traditional printed edition. Digital media devices added 1.2% to the monthly reach of the printed publication, while website and app, via any device, added another 3.5%.

International TV brands, however, still reached their audience via the main TV set (12.4%), although audiences were increasingly using devices, such as the laptop or PC (6.4%).

The survey also revealed that the UK leads Europe in its adoption and usage of digital devices, with 80% of affluent consumers using smartphones and 47% using tablets, compared with the regional averages of 63% and 34% respectively.

Data sourced from Ipsos; additional content by Warc staff