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Remember the scene in “Back to the Future Part II” where Marty McFly comes home to this picture-in-picture monstrosity on his wall?
Like many other predictions in the movie, the six-screen TV falls into the category of “mostly true.” Consumers are watching television with multiple screens, but most have the TV on as they browse on their smartphones or tablets.
From experience, we know browsing multiple devices at once is a common habit, but research shows that second screen viewing is essentially the norm. Accenture’s Digital Video and the Connected Consumer report found that a whopping 87 percent of consumers are using a second screen (ranging from smartphones to laptops) while watching TV.
Traditionally, however, broadcast TV viewership declines in the summer. Unfortunately, the same was true for cable viewership last summer: Nielsen reported that ratings were down by as much as 36 percent as viewers abandoned cable for streaming services (many of them ad-free).
Here, we’re faced with two conflicting trends: viewing with a second screen is up, but traditional TV viewership overall is down. The end result is that fewer eyeballs are fixated on a traditional television screen, and traditional ads are (surprise) no longer a sure bet.
Here’s how marketers can not only compensate for the lack of traditional TV viewership, but also exceed their reach through alternative means this summer:
Further, insights into how consumers are using various channels and devices can help ensure you have the best chance of reaching them. For example, the Nielsen study referenced earlier found that in the United States, most dual-screen viewers aren’t glued to their smartphones, but rather their laptops. Knowing how your audience consumes media will help you diversify, but also focus your efforts.
The decline of summer viewership coupled with second screen viewing is just one example of the new colliding with the old, and the type of long-term trends we track daily on behalf of clients. While you have more options than ever before for your media spend, don’t be fooled into embracing the new while abandoning the old. Rather, know how your audience behaves and how tactics can work in harmony to maximize your spend.
For more on how tactics can work together, download our Complete Guide to Building a Lead-Focused Digital Ecosystem.