Growth of Multi-Screening – What your Business can do!

As the number of multi-screeners grows, advertisers are realising the potential of actually encouraging multi-screening to gain a competitive advantage.

Why is this important? 

According to a study conducted by Fast Web Media, people are more likely to stay in the room during advert breaks if they are multi-screening, meaning they may actually end up watching or listening to the TV advert rather than switch channels or leave the room. Thinkbox reported in 2012 that 72% of TV viewers stay in the room for ads when not multi-screening versus 81% when multi-screening; that 9% increase could be the difference between a person remembering your brand or ignoring your ad.

So now that brands are recognising the benefits of multi-screening, what are they doing about it?

Brands are using this growing trend to find different ways to connect with viewers through the incorporation of social media within traditional mass media.

Twitter seems to be the chosen method of communication, where advertisers display a customised hashtag and encourage people to join the conversation. Why Twitter and not Facebook or Google+? Well, it’s all down to Twitter’s simplicity, its openness and the fact that it’s a conversation-driven social network.

With over 10 million active UK users, 60% of them tweeting while watching TV and 40% actually tweeting about TV; Twitter seems to be the best fit. It’s quick and easy to understand and the use of a hashtag makes it easy to track conversation and measure results. However, some brands, like John Lewis, have adopted a multi-channel approach, displaying a customised hashtag and logos for both Facebook and Twitter.

Knowing this, how many brands are actively encouraging multi-screening?

Fast Web Media’s research looks at 50 different UK brands and analyses their most recent 2013 TV adverts to see who is encouraging multi-screening and how. One ad per brand was watched and inclusions of URLs and/or reference to social networks was recorded. The resulting data provides new insights into both the current trends in UK advertising, as well as the success rate of different multi-screening advertising campaigns.

The research shows that multi-screening is on the rise, with 68% of all advertisements studied encouraging multi-screening.

Notably, other key findings include:

  • Including a website URL in the advert is still the most common practice
  • 16% of all adverts include two or more links directing users to different online locations
  • Twitter is the second-most common mention, surpassing Facebook or YouTube
  • 9/10 of adverts mentioning Twitter include a hashtag encouraging viewers to engage with the brand online
  • All hashtags have been used
  • The type of hashtag influences how successful it will be in building brand recognition
  • The placement of a multi-screening cue is very important and determines how successful the prompt will be amongst viewers