Second Screen Study: Tablet Based Web Traffic Rises 94% During Prime Time TV Hours

Second Screen Study: Tablet Based Web Traffic Rises 94% During Prime Time TV Hours

  • 27 June 2012

Do you use your tablet to surf the web in the evening? What about to make a quick search in the morning before work? If so then you are using your tablet like millions of others across North America. eMarketer predicts that in 2012 about half of all U.S. mobile phone users will own smartphones, and about 25% of all internet users will own a tablet (mostly dominated by the iPad as seen in our latest tablet market share study). Additionally, over 70% of those tablet owners are already using their device (or “second screen”) simultaneously while watching TV almost daily.

Chitika Insights was interested in conducting a research study to determine what if any correlation we could find between tablet usage and “second screen” behavior. In order to quantify this study, we took a sample composed of hundreds of millions of impressions from the Chitika Ad network, ranging from June 6, 2012 to June 12, 2012. A user agent analysis was then conducted on this sample of data to determine which devices are tablets.

This data was then broken down based on state, and then adjusted from UTC (universal time code) to the standard time of each time zone. The traffic was then relayed as an index, where the largest point of traffic share was assigned a value of 100. Every other data point is the ratio between it and the largest point. (EX: If a point is 80% of the largest data point that is will have a value of 80)

We found a sharp increase in tablet use during the early morning and late evening, with peak usage at about 6-7 AM and 9 PM respectively. The largest increase corresponds to prime time television hours when tablet usage increases on average by 93.94% as depicted in the graph below:

The same patterns of usage can be found across all four continental time zones as shown in the graphs below:

For advertisers this behavior can mean an increased opportunity to capture consumers’ attention in two places at once. However, it’s essential to understand what technologies exist that will allow them to connect with a “second screen” audience -- more increasingly coming in the form of an app.

There has also been a rise in popularity among “second screen” apps, which helps viewers remain engaged in program, even while distracted by their tablet and smartphones. One big brand who is already experimenting with this technology is Disney, who provides a “second screen” app for individual movies, allowing a viewer’s iPad or computer to interact on a timed basis with their Blue—Ray. App developers like ConnecTV promise to increase ‘second screen’ involvement among users watching television by bringing friends and fans together though favorite TV shows and events using a social platform.

The trends uncovered in our study are also helpful for advertisers to determine the best times to show ads on tablets to maximize ROI and capture their target audience’s attention. For tablet marketers, this study proves that most tablet owners are likely to use their devices to access the web while getting ready for their day and during the ‘prime time’ evening hours.