August 31st, 2012 by Tim Greenhalgh
Elinor Millsâ€™ blog post this week about Google research data on screen jugglers sent me back in time.
Approximately two minutes after the Big Bang , I wrote an arguably definitive article on the future of the internet for the Sunday Times Magazine (1995) where I predicted that people would, for example, watch Wimbledon on their screen of choice, check information on the players and buy into Dunlop futures on the stock exchanges. All at the same time. Crazy!
At that time, remember, the internet was seen by the majority as a fad â€“ much like CB Radio.
Anyway, fast-forward 17 years and the multi-tasking prediction has come true â€“ except that itâ€™s not done on a single screen.
Elinorâ€™s post on c|net advises that on average we spend 4.4 hours of our leisure time each day in front of screens, according to research commissioned by Google and revealed in the Google Mobile Ads Blog blog post.
The study reveals that 90 per cent of all media interactions are on a screen of some type or another, which leaves 10 per cent for radio and print versions of newspapers and magazines.
Watching TV is perfect for screen juggling â€“ 77 per cent of the time, we are using another device while viewing and roughly half the time, we reach for our smartphones.
But hereâ€™s the first cool takeaway: Most of the time when we use two devices simultaneously, it’s to do e-mail, followed by browsing and social networking.
Elinorâ€™s blog advises that, per interaction, the time spent staring at a particular screen ranged from 17 minutes for the smartphone and 30 minutes for a tablet to 39 minutes for a personal computer or laptop and 43 minutes for TV.
And hereâ€™s the second cool takeaway: 38 per cent of our daily media interactions are on a smartphone, 24 per cent on a personal computer, and 9 per cent on a tablet, the research found.
Iâ€™m sure weâ€™ll see that tablet stat change as Google gains a stronger position in the market.
Maybe this research shows that people are very happy to use a range of devices and that smart mobile is the most significant element in their daily engagement. My dream home would include a state-of-the-art TV screen, three tablets (Slates), an iPhone and an Android phone. Gigabit wireless is hardly too much to ask.
Iâ€™m not too concerned about the compression of knowledge, news, entertainment, sport and gossip into a single home device. I think weâ€™re doing quite nicely, thanks.
But the Google research does clearly indicate that marketing teams around the world have a massive opportunity to build brand reputation, influence and authority through campaigns that flow seamlessly through the multiple channels of engagement.
Currently, I think that there are disconnections between these channels. The Google research should spark changes that will ensure marketers engage more effectively with the screen jugglers â€“ that is, you and me.