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First to Third: Mobile Steals Attention

Posted Jul 21, 2015

No, this isn’t an article on baseball; though, one could argue that mobile has stolen a few bases, and advertisers are going to need a double play to capture audience attention.

Once considered the third screen for its tertiary content consumption volume, mobile is vying for first screen consideration as televisions become background noise to whatever is distracting us on our phones.

In fact, according to a recent eMarketer study, the majority of mobile users report watching mobile video while watching television. Only 15% of users have not watched mobile video while the their televisions were on in the background. Conversely, another 6% of respondents have given up television viewing entirely.

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So what is distracting us and lending our primary attention to the third screen? The answer is a mix of video content. According to a recent study from the IAB, 58% of users watch short form video on their mobile devices daily.

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While users who consume long form mobile video daily are still in the minority, expect to see that number increase as more users embrace phones with 4 inch screens and 1080p or better screens and more long form content providers (cable television stations, etc) embrace apps that make more of their content readily available on mobile.

As users consume an increasing variety and format of videos on their mobile devices and often tuning out their televisions in the process, advertisers are finding that relying on a single screen to capture attention is simply not effective enough anymore.

As such, top advertisers are turning to a mix of television and mobile video ads to reach their audiences, and users are paying attention. According to recent IAB data, 89% of users report seeing mobile video ads that they’ve also seen on television, with 70% seeing these ads at least somewhat regularly and 27% seeing them often.

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As users increasingly turn to mobile video during commercial breaks and lulls in television programming, expect to see even more advertisers make the leap from first to third and leverage more cross screen campaigns.

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