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How Many of Us Consume Digital Media on Multiple Screens and What Are We Doing?

Ken Kajikawa
April 3, 2013

Our screens - wearables, smartphones, tablets, personal computers - laptop and desktop - connected TV's, consoles, and microconsoles - is how we are more social, more entertaining, and more productive. This represents a big shift from static (or time slotted content) to "always on", always available content - on multiple devices.

Multi-screen, multi-device consumption of digital media is quickly becoming normal. In my office, I use a Apple laptop, a dual screen Win8 desktop PC with cable TV, and two smartphones. In my living room, I have a connected TV, game console, Apple TV, satellite TV, and two tablets. I stream and download digital content to all my devices - Netflix, Pandora, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. - and consume in multiple locations - home, car, plane, train, etc. All of these devices are changing consumption habits of the average household as more and more devices come into the home.

According to Uberflip, in the US:

· 112.4m own a smartphone
· 44.8m own a tablet
· 97% own a TV
· 81% have access to a PC
· 70% own a gaming console

Another big shift is user experience is more important than content. The ease of use in accessing your apps, services, and games from any device, personalization using big data, and the ability to communicate and share across platforms and services is paramount to the success of today's digital media companies.

With all of these devices, what are we doing? According to a new study by Microsoft Advertising, consumers typically follow four multi-screening activities:

· Content Grazing: When consumers use two or more screens simultaneously to access unrelated content. For example, watching a show on TV while at the same time checking email, texting a friend, or using a 2nd screen application.
· Investigative Spider-Webbing: When consumers seek more information or for pure exploration. For example, watching a movie on TV while at the same time looking up what other movies the actors have been in on a tablet.
· Quantum Journey: When consumers use two separate screens to accomplish a task. For example, while shopping, using your smartphone, you take a picture of a pair of shoes (or some other product) you see on sale and when you return home, using your tablet, you look up reviews about the shoes before purchasing.
· Social Spider-Webbing: When consumers share content and connect with others across devices. For example, you beat your friend’s high score for a videogame on your console and use Twitter to brag about your score to friends.

So what does all this mean? In order to succeed in an "always-on" world, where multi-screening activities on multiple devices is normal, you need good interconnectivity to deliver your content to deliver the best user experience.

If you have questions or comments, email me.

Ken Kajikawa
General Manager - Digital Media | Telx | Twitter: @kenkajikawa


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