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TV Loses the Battle for Multi-Taskers’ Attention

Posted on 3.12.2015

In today’s always-connected world, it is not unusual for consumers to multi-task. For instance, it is a common occurrence for someone to browse their smartphone or tablet while also watching television.

This multi-tasking, however, is having an impact on consumer engagement according to a new study commissioned by digital video band advertising solutions provider YuMe. The study, which was based on an observational lab experiment that simulated a multi-tasking environment, found that television was the most used device (53 percent across all respondents), yet participants spent less than half of that time paying attention to it while it was on. In fact, attention to television dropped from over half of multi-taskers to under 20 percent in the first four minutes.

It is also important to note that a campaign was served to the same number of multi-tasking consumers on each device and was seen by more than 2x as many viewers on laptops and more than 3x as many on tablets or smartphones than on TV. In fact, of all the ads shown in the study, just 30 percent of the television ads were seen while 71 percent of the laptop ads were seen and 93 percent of tablet ads were seen. This data suggests that the attention lost from TV ads can be regained by ads on digital platforms.

“No one is debating that consumers are multi-tasking. This ethnographic study was specifically designed to garner insights into users’ behaviors and preferences while multi-tasking,” says Paul Neto, director of research, YuMe. “Despite distraction levels among consumers, it will be important for brand advertisers to continue running campaigns cross-screen, as viewers continue to show they are also attentive on laptops, tablets, and/or smartphones while ‘watching’ TV.”

Discover more insights from the study by taking a look at YuMe’s infographic below:


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