Bravo studies viewing habits of ‘multi-screeners’

The U.S. cable net conducted a research study that found viewers are less likely to skip through commercials if they watch TV while using other devices, such as smartphones and tablets. (Pictured: Bravo's The Real Housewives of Miami)
October 23, 2012

(Pictured: Bravo show The Real Housewives of Miami)

U.S. cable net Bravo has unveiled a research study that found viewers are less likely to skip through commercials if they watch television while using other devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Conducted in partnership with Latitude Research, “Deconstructing the Multi-Screener” is based on an online survey of more than 1,000 consumers aged between 18 and 54, as well as a qualitative study in which 112 people in Boston and Los Angeles were observed as they watched television with and without time-shifting capabilities while using their smartphones, tablets and laptops in a simulated living room.

The participants viewed 45 minutes of a Bravo programs with commercial breaks and a subset of participants were directed to visit related Bravo websites/apps. The observational portion of the research collected a total of 4,500 minutes of collected viewing footage, which was reviewed and coded across more than 30 behavior attributes. Participants also completed a short survey pre- and post- viewing session.

A total of 73% of those participants said that watching TV with a second device made them less likely to skip through commercials using time-shifting. The research found that when consumers had both a smartphone and a tablet/laptop, they fast-forwarded at the start of 40% of ad breaks, compared with smartphone-only viewers who skipped ads 51% of the time.

“TV viewers today are device-happy to say the least,” Bravo Media’s VP of research Dave Kaplan said in a statement. “But rather than thinking of these as empty distractions, our research suggests these very well may be productive opportunities to reach viewers while the actual program is airing. There is typically no competing brand messaging on TV, and instead these viewers are seeking out their digital screens – and about one fifth of the time, it was related to the show they were watching.”

Other findings from the qualitative study include that “certain verbal elements” within advertising will increase the likelihood a multi-screen viewer will watch a TV spot, and that viewers were 42% more likely to watch a TV spot that incorporated talent or footage from a show alongside brand messaging as opposed to a regular spot.

Advertisers also have an added chance of capturing a multi-screeners’ attention via the companion screen as participants in the study spent the majority of their time on websites and apps related to the program they were watching.

According to the quantitative research, 45% of multi-screen viewers are more likely to remember brands if they saw an ad on more than one platform. The multi-tasking viewers also found that consumers used their devices differently depending on the type of program.

For example, sitcom viewers would use a device for entertainment while reality food competition viewers had an interesting in learning. The study also found reality viewers were 21% more likely to seek show-related content on other devices compared with viewers of scripted fare.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.