Kiwis doubling up on screen time - Google

By Ben Chapman-Smith

The days of consuming one type of media at a time are gone, says Google. Photo / Thinkstock
The days of consuming one type of media at a time are gone, says Google. Photo / Thinkstock

Watching television while simultaneously browsing the net on a smartphone, tablet or laptop is becoming the new norm in New Zealand living rooms, according to Google.

A survey of 1000 tech-savvy New Zealanders showed that 85 per cent dual-screened - used their laptop, smartphone or tablet while watching TV - at least once a week.

Of those, 62 per cent said they mostly used a laptop to dual screen, 24 per cent mostly used a desktop, 22 per cent a smartphone and 13 per cent a tablet.

One in five said they were prompted to go online and research something as a result of what they saw on TV.

While it might not come as a huge surprise, the findings "put meat on the bone" in terms of providing evidence, said Google NZ country manager Tony Keusgen.

"We had a feeling this was going on but we wanted to know what the actual behaviours were," Keusgen said.

"The days of consuming one type of media at a time are gone. The proliferation of this kind of behaviour is enormous."

Google carried out the survey in August last year with market research company Ipsos and digital advertising firm VivaKi.

In order to qualify for the survey, participants had to watch TV for at least one-hour per day, own at least one device capable of accessing the internet, and access the internet at least every three to four days.

The majority of dual-screeners were younger and earned a higher income than the general population, the survey showed.

Google said watching the news was one of the biggest prompters for Kiwis to dual-screen, while reality shows like My Kitchen Rules and The Block were also triggers.

One in five said they were prompted to go online by advertisements, Google said.

Half of those who carried out research after liking something they saw on TV ended up making a purchase.

Keusgen said the research has implications for an advertising market which has been slow to keep up.

New Zealand has a large 'media gap', being the difference between where media is being consumed and where advertisements are being placed, he said.

"Advertising dollars aren't following consumption in New Zealand."

While 43 per cent of media is being consumed online, only 15 per cent of the marketing dollar is being spent there, he said.

"Whether it's from TV to tablet, tablet to laptop and laptop to smartphone, Kiwis are jumping between devices and expecting to find what they're looking for without hesitation.

"By creating that ecosytem where you're reaching across both mediums, advertisers will get a much broader reach of viewers."

The research has prompted a deal for Google which will see ad agency VivaKi roll out two New Zealand masthead ads a week on Google-owned YouTube over the next year.

Kevin Molloy, VivaKi NZ country chair, said advertising was no longer just about "buying a 30 second TV commercial".

"This is about being a bit more aggressive with our approach to digital advertising in the marketplace."

New Zealand's online advertising spend last year rose 9 per cent to $363 million, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau New Zealand (IABNZ).

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