Multiscreen Planning: What’s all the fuss about?


Multiscreen planning is emerging as one of the key signifiers of a diverging media marketplace. Everybody is talking about it, why it’s important and why brands need to start doing it. From our perspective at PHD Germany, there are some good reasons why we need to start thinking about this new perspective on planning.

 TV continues to be social by nature

TV viewing has always been a social activity in the home but today, most social TV activity occurs on mobile devices, tablets or computers. Therefore, we as advertisers should take advantage of the following:

–          85% of smartphone and tablet owners incorporate their device into their TV viewing experience & 25% of primary mobile users tweet about a show they are watching.

–          Majority – around 95% — of the online public conversation about TV is happening on Twitter.

–          TV ads for brands that included a hashtag cultivated online conversation – 44% of tweets about the commercial then used the hashtag, compared to just 16% for brands that did not include it in their advertisement.

DVR is no longer the only way that people can consume on their terms

The ability to skip ads or ignore them by concentrating attention on other devices is growing. At the end of 2011, DVR penetration in the United States was close to 40 percent, but among DVR users, only 20 to 30 percent of viewing is time-shifted. Thus, if viewers fast-forwarded through all commercials, a maximum of 12 percent of commercial exposures would be missed. But ad-skipping estimates actually range from 50 to 90 percent, so somewhere between 6 and 11 percent of all ad exposures are lost.

Usage is mobile

More people are now watching TV content and movies on tablets in their bedrooms than on their actual living room TV. This is one supporting point in the emergence of ‘TV everywhere. Tablets are well suited for long form content viewing. Their mobility and agreeable form factor bring the TV-like experience to users in the comfort of their bedrooms, or the room of their choosing (kitchen, bathroom, garage).

–          41% are watching in their rooms while 40% are watching in their living rooms.

But social platforms are experimenting with different tie-ins to TV – with the Twitter hashtag providing the most connectivity.


 TV drives activity

–          TV sparks search queries and prompts viewers to get more information, discounts/deals or even find relevant information about the commercial.

–          Approximately 18% search for additional information that is seen on television – this is in line with the 17% that are looking up information about actual TV programming. (e.g. Super Bowl 2013 Oreo “You Can Still Dunk In The Dark Ad.” )

 And finally – Participation, rewards & accessibility are key

Multiscreen usage lends itself to providing more engaging experience to TV watchers. For example:

–          Participation: The ‘applauseometro’ app for Xfactor Italy allows users to become involved and take an action to become part of the experience.

–          Rewards: The ability to check into TV shows with apps like Viggle to earn points towards real goods and services.

–          Access: Additional content available across devices. (e.g. 2012 Olympic Games -75MM videos were being streamed across online, mobile and tablet devices, with 10MM Olympic related tweets per day during the games)

Therefore we need to start thinking about how we can make holistic, cohesive multiscreen campaigns which will take into account different devices, their strengths and how they interact with one another.

However, how do you know if your market is multiscreen ready? Three things can help you to decide:

  1. Connection speed to make sure that your market can support multiscreen activity.
  2. Penetration to determine that multiple devices have enough presence to invest dollars into these experiences.
  3. Media habits to make sure that people would leverage dual-screen experiences.

By evaluating your market on these criteria, you will soon be able to tell if your market is ready, almost ready or needs more time. We refer to these states as a Go Market, a Pilot Market or a Hold Market.

Go Markets currently experience the highest usage from all categories and even encompass Conservatives/Laggards (typically this bucket dislikes new technology and try to avoid it and pride themselves on the fact that they are the last to try anything new). Pilot Markets currently experience mixed usage but shift more towards Pragmatists  (typically these people might be willing to use new technology, if it’s the only way to get their problem solved).  And finally, Hold Markets currently experience the most usage from Early Adopters (typically identified as risk takers who actually like to try new things).

For more information on multiscreen planning and how we can help you to harness it, please contact PHD Germany.


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