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Mobile Usage During the Summer Games — Survey Highlights

Posted May 12, 2021

After an unprecedented delay, the Olympics will finally be back this summer in Tokyo. Officially known as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, the international event will be kicking off July 23rd and will last until August 8th. With the pandemic still very much present in many countries, the Olympic committee has already announced that only Japanese residents will be able to attend. Although people will not be able to travel to the games, it will still be a major televised event around the world. 

Viewers are early waiting for the Summer Games and brands are looking to the event as a way to reach them. Because mobile usage skyrocketed in the past year, AdColony is looking at how smartphones play a role during the games and how brands can connect with consumers as they watch. Mobile users were surveyed about their plans for the games and how they will use their smartphones while watching. Read on for highlights from the Summer Games Survey and scroll down to see the infographic!

Highlights from the Study

Viewers of all ages and genders will be tuning in. — Demographics are close to even across the board in terms of age. The audience is expected to skew toward females (63%) versus males (35%).

Broadcast TV is still the preferred device to watch the Summer Games. — A majority of respondents (65%) said they will watch the Summer Games on their TV. However, mobile devices are not too far behind. 46% of respondents said they would watch on their smartphones or tablets.

Consumers will use multiple devices and apps to keep up with the Summer Games. — Almost half of respondents (45%) said they plan to watch the games on more than one device. Also, 38% said it’s moderately to extremely important to keep up on multiple devices. About a quarter of respondents said they are somewhat or very likely to download an app to keep up with or watch the Summer Games. 

The majority of viewers will be multitasking with their mobile devices. — During the Summer Games, viewers will also be on their mobile devices texting (47%), browsing social media apps (47%), and looking up Olympics content (37%). Additionally, a significant portion of viewers (29%) will be playing mobile games while watching. 

Consumers look forward to traditional events as well as new ones.  — Respondents were asked which events they were planning to watch and gymnastics, swimming and track and field were at the top of the list. Among new events, they were most excited about skateboarding, karate, and baseball/softball. Brands looking to reach excited fans could build campaigns featuring these sports and tie them into their messaging.

While we often think of the Summer Games as a global television event, the shifts in technology and behavior has steered the audience toward mobile. Mobile ads, particularly in-app ads, have more interactive capabilities than TV ad spots. With so many viewers turning to their mobile devices and apps to keep up with the games, brands would benefit from creating Olympics-specific campaigns that will keep them engaged as they watch. Additionally, brands shouldn’t rely on TV as their only channel to reach consumers especially if they will be multitasking while watching. In-app ads will allow brands to target their audiences at scale while not spending as much as broadcast commercials. 

Don’t forget to click the infographic to see it full screen and download!

About the Study
This survey was distributed globally and received approximately 200 responses from respondents in the United States. It asked consumers ranging from 18 years old to over 75 about their behaviors and device usage related to the Summer Games.

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