Posted March 21, 2014 4:32 pm by with 3 comments

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millwardbrown multiscreenAccording to a new study by Millward Brown, multidevice users manage to consumer 7 hours of media in 5 hours a day. That’s pretty nifty. I’m always wishing for an extra hour or two and now I know how to get it. All I have to do is work on my iPad while I watch TV on the DVR, while chatting with friends on my smartphone.

When you look at this from a global perspective, the smartphone is doing most of the heavy lifting with an average of 2.5 hours spent daily. In the early evening, smartphones drop off slightly as people switch over to laptops then tablets. By 8pm, TV usages spikes then drops off sharply after 11pm. So much for the late, late, show.

All of this means people spend about 109 minutes on a secondary device while they’re watching TV. Here’s where it gets interesting. Only 14% of the time is spent “meshing” – mean both screens are being used to consume related content. 22% of the time, users are looking at unrelated content. Which means, you the marketer, don’t have to tie your message into what’s on TV in order to get a person’s attention between 8 and 11.

As a matter of fact, most people (42%) said they turn to a secondary device simply to fill the time during commercial breaks. 39% used the time to catch up on social media and 28% said TV shows just weren’t interesting enough to hold their attention. (Ouch.)

Only 20% said they used a secondary device because they needed to get something done. That means, the majority of second screen users are simply looking for entertainment which could mean a funny video or a catalog to shop.

Ironically, though most people use a second device to escape from boring commercials, 72% of those surveyed said they pay some attention to TV ads and TV ads were rated most favorable over all devices.  Tablet ads received the lowest rating but not by much. And when it comes to paying attention it was a near three-way tie (51-52%) between laptops, smartphones and tablets. So, whatever we’re doing on mobile, we’re only getting it half right.

What did people respond to? TV ads with website links or mobile app references and 5-10 second branded videos that are fun to share.

What I get from this is that people don’t object to advertising but if you want them to respond you have to make it easy. Give them a simple way to connect and then give them content they’ll want to share. Doesn’t matter if you’re selling cars or crackers – the consumers are out there and they’re ready to buy, you just have to give them a good reason to buy from you right now.



  • Norton Loomer

    This is my first time visiting Marketing Pilgrim. I read two articles today, and while I found the ideas helpful, I am appalled by the sloppy writing. “Users consumer 7 hours of media” – you can’t be serious. Please proofread. I think the biggest downfall of content marketing today is the sloppiness of the writing and editing. Typos happen, but a major usage error in a headline is inexcusable. Rather than trying to pump out content in record breaking time, maybe we should all slow down and make sure we are publishing content that is high quality across the board.

    • Norton Loomer

      I apologize if my comment came across as overly harsh. We all make mistakes in our writing. I just think it’s a shame that it has become acceptable in today’s world. We should always strive to produce the best quality content we can.


      Chill out. We’re all human.