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Microsoft Advertising

Cross-Screen Engagement Study finds the UK to be the most investigative country


By Gillian West, Social media manager

March 14, 2013 | 3 min read

Over half (64 per cent) of British consumers were found to use two or more devices at the same time to explore related content, leading the UK to be named the most investigative country in Microsoft Advertising’s Cross-Screen Engagement Study.

Conducted in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the UK and the US in partnership with Flaming Research and Ipsos OTX, the research identified four multi-screening behaviours: ‘Content grazing’, ‘investigative spider-webbing’, ‘social spider-webbing’, and ‘quantum journeys’. The findings show that consumers are becoming increasingly reliant on laptops, mobile phones, tablets and gaming consoles for information, communication, inspiration and entertainment.

“While the era of ‘Content is King’ isn’t over per se, there is a new ‘Crown Prince’ coming on the scene: consumer experience.

“While marketers once generated content to fit manufactured and static advertising placements, consumers now control their own flow of content—from day to night, and from screens large and small,” commented senior director of consumer insights at Microsoft Advertising, Natasha Hrituk, in her online blog post.

Content grazing is described as multitasking on two or more devices at once with 70 per cent of UK consumers found to engage in content-grazing. In the UK 39 per cent of respondents were found to prefer having a device on in the background whilst they do other things. Examples of content grazing include watching a TV programme while at the same time checking emails on a laptop and texting a friend on a mobile device.

Over half of UK consumers (64 per cent) ‘spider-webbed’ with an investigative intent, meaning they were actively looking at related content on two or more devices at the same time. One in three respondents in the UK was found to use spider-webbing to find out more about something they had seen whilst looking on another device. Globally 57 per cent of consumers were found to use this pathway; an example of this would be looking up the actors in a film whilst watching it on TV.

Social spider-webbing is described as focussing on sharing/connecting content with others via another device, with 39 per cent of UK consumers engaging in this kind of behaviour. Globally, one in five consumers engages in social spider-webbing whilst watching TV. Just under half (45 per cent) of UK consumers were found to take quantum journeys – starting an activity on one screen and continuing it on another.

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