LONDON: The ability to cut down on the number of ads seen is one factor in the drift away from watching linear TV, according to research which notes the subsequent impact on ‘mental availability’.

The Path to Purchase Tracker Report from On Device Research, the brand effectiveness company, was based on responses from 500 adult smartphone owners in the UK.

This found that two in five respondents (41%) said that seeing fewer ads than they did on linear TV was an important motivation for watching paid on-demand video, behind convenience (62%) and ease of use (42%); quality of programming was rather less crucial (28%).

In any case, only one third claimed to notice ads in paid on-demand TV, compared to 58% who registered them in short-from video clips, typically watched on a mobile device.

Not only are consumers seeking to control the ad experience by shifting to paid on-demand TV, but 87% of the survey respondents were using mobile apps for more than two hours per day – evidence, said On Device Research, of the significant disruption to traditional media consumption habits, resulting in a meaningful impact on salience.

All this “presents huge challenges for brands attempting to engage consumers, and drive that much needed mental availability,” said Alistair Hill, On Device Research Co-Founder and CEO.

“Eye balls have moved to mobile, which our effectiveness research shows is proven to help build brands,” he added.

The study also found a 7% net decline in visits to shopping centres, along with 75% of respondents claiming to shop online at least once a month – two factors that will have an impact, not necessarily net negative, on physical availability.

The report also revealed a rapidly growing connection between consumers’ mobile devices and TVs, with 51% of respondents claiming to have controlled their TV via their smartphone in the preceding three months, a figure which rises to 61% for 18-34 year olds.

This has implications for Ad Exposure Tracking, Hill advised. “A broadcaster can now capture the advertising ID for the advertising that was shown during that programme, creating cross-device exposure measurement opportunities.”

Data sourced from On Device Research; additional content by WARC staff