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Advertisers Keep Second-Screen Viewing Top of Mind

Increasingly, advertisers are keeping second-screen viewing top of mind when planning their TV strategies.  A recent study by Time Warner Medialab revealed that branded apps drive the highest engagement among viewers.  As part of the study, Turner and OMD examined three different kinds of apps (branded, incentivized, generic) to discover how people use them and how advertisers can leverage them. Here are some of the findings:

App type matters:

  • Frequent users of branded apps were equally male and female; used smartphones and tablets to get information and content.
  • Incentivized app users skewed female and used mostly smartphones; mostly for points and rewards.
  • Multiple app usage skewed male and used mainly smartphones.  Men used apps during the entire show, for a multitude of reasons.
  • Branded apps delivered 26% higher engagement than viewers doing solo TV viewing.   They drove the highest engagement when the viewer was focused on program content sessions.

In-app advertising:

  • When a TV ad is complemented by an in-app ad, viewers pay more attention to the brand TV ad than if there’s no in-app ad.
  • 48% of users are highly engaged with TV ads when the same brand ad is seen in both the TV program and the branded app.
  • 34% engaged with an average ad.

Interactive content entices users:

  • Trivia, games and social feeds command the most attention, especially during commercial breaks.
  • In-app ads that complement the TV ad while offering something compelling (song downloads, coupons, trailers) are more effective for engageing users.
  • Trivia and puzzles drive viewer attention and engagement.

Timing is critical:

  • Second screen activity distracts from TV ads.
  • Integrating ads into app content can help the advertiser if they’re integrated at the point when users are most engaged.
  • Ads are impactful during the game’s most important moments, when loading screens and when the game is successfully completed.

It’s no secret that we live in a multiscreen world and people are increasingly using their smartphone and tablets at the same time they are watching TV. The high engagement rates of branded apps gives TV studios and advertisers a real incentive to get involved in this space and encourage its growth. In the future, second screening may boost the number of viewers who tune in for original broadcasts.

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