By: Ben Flanagan
Originally appears on: http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/industry-insights/the-life/how-to-spend-28-hours-a-day-consuming-media
Spending more than 24 hours a day consuming media sounds practically impossible.
But that is the reality for some in the Arab world, according to research.
LiquidThread, a division of Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), found Saudi Arabia’s most tech-savvy consumers spend an average of 28 hours a day consuming media – many use a laptop and phone at the same time as they watch TV. While the research was skewed because only consumers with a smartphone or tablet were surveyed, Tarek Daouk, the chief innovation officer at SMG in Dubai, says this is a trend to watch.
Consuming 28 hours of media a day sounds impossible. How can that be?
It amounts to 28 hours without people noticing it. If you ask them how many hours of TV they watch it’s 3.5 hours and how many hours they spend consuming content on the mobile, it’s five hours … We found that 70 per cent of people, when they are watching TV, use at least two other devices at the same time to consume content. And that’s huge.
Why is that significant?
They use these devices to either browse the Web, or be on social networks, or check their email. So it’s hard-core content consumption. If they see something interesting on TV, they use these devices to get more information about it. So for brands, that’s critical.
Surely this is bad for advertisers because it proves viewers are easily distracted?
People consume a lot of content. But at the same time, if you ask them if they feel overloaded, they say ‘no’. They say they become more selective in the information they choose to consume and read. Over time, what happens is that your behaviour changes because you start learning what to ignore.
Is it really credible people are devoting so much time to media?
That’s an answer we are getting from people. The key impact of it is that, yes, people do consume a lot of content because of the devices. They’re still watching TV strongly and they’re doing something in parallel to TV.
So people are spending more time consuming media than there are hours in the day. Is that good or bad news for the brands?
That’s good news for the brands, because it allows them to create a much richer experience. [With a TV advert] you have only 30 seconds to interact with a person. But now the brand has all the fantastic ability that a second screen gives them, in the same context. It’s a much more intimate relationship with the viewers.
Isn’t there still the danger that people are going to be distracted by their phone, tablet or computer and that will dilute advertising messages?
Absolutely. The internet in general had a negative impact on our attention levels. When you are watching TV and using different devices, your attention is not 100 per cent like when you are watching TV and doing nothing else. And this is exactly what we are telling the advertisers – that if you want to succeed in these conditions, you have to use the multiple screens smartly.