Report: Tablet Owners Shop While Using Devices and Watching TV - Second Screen Engagement

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Illuminating the different ways that smartphones and tablets are changing consumer behavior, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence today released “Mobile’s Role in the Consumer’s Media Day,” an in-depth research report that reveals how receptiveness to advertising and media consumption varies by device, time of day, and location.

According to the report:

  • There is a strong degree of ad interaction among tablet users, with nearly half (47 per cent ) saying that they engage with ads on that device more than once a week
  • One in four (25 per cent ) smartphone users also said that they interact with ads at that same frequency
  • Once these mobile device users engage with an ad, they are extremely likely to take action (80 per cent smartphone users, 89 per cent tablet users)

From MarketingCharts:

...59 per cent of TV-watching tablet owners say they have shopped using their device while watching TV at home in the past 3 months, double the proportion (29 per cent ) of TV-watching smartphone users who say the same, according to the survey commissioned by the IAB and conducted by ABI Research, released in July. Neither group reports shopping as their most frequent dual-screen activity, though. Rather, these dual-screen consumers are more likely to communicate via the internet, browse the internet, or access social media while watching TV.

TV time is a significant time for mobile use, as data from “Mobile’s Role in the Consumer’s Media Day” reveals. When asked about their mobile use during the day, users were given a typical continuum of: wakeup; mealtime; work; shopping; after work; waiting; commuting; break-time; TV-time; and bedtime. Among smartphone users, a plurality (28 per cent ) said they most use their device to access general media while waiting, while TV-time was second-highest at 17 per cent . Among tablet users, TV-time rated second for general media consumption on their devices, at 27 per cent , behind the after-work period (28 per cent ).

In regard to behaviors, smartphone users consider that device to be mission-critical for their day-to-day lives, with 70 percent saying that they “never leave home without it.” In comparison, 70 percent of those surveyed said that their tablets served as entertainment and media hubs.

“Both tablet and smartphone users show an impressive interest in mobile advertising,” said Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB. “The key for marketers is looking at how consumers use these devices in different ways, and tailoring brand messages and strategies accordingly.”


Those that have both devices echo this sentiment, with 60 percent preferring a smartphone to “look up info on-the-go,” in contrast to 22 percent who would choose a tablet for that activity. However, when asked how they preferred to consume traditional media like print and video on mobile devices, consumers overwhelming choose tablets (69 per cent print, 68 per cent video) over a smartphone (9 per cent print, 8 per cent video).

Time of day also has a direct impact on how consumers use their mobile devices. For smartphone users, the three most impactful media moments of the day are:

  • Early Morning – When they first wake up, nearly 20 percent access social media
  • Midday – Almost a third (28 per cent ) cite “free time” windows during this time period that allow them to access media
  • Primetime Evening – Both general media and social media consumption spike during primetime TV viewing hours

It is harder to generalize with tablet users, but waking up stands out as a key social media time, with 28 percent engaging social media on their tablets first thing in the morning.

Nearly one-third of mobile device owners (30 per cent smartphone users, 32 per cent tablet users) said that they were likely to respond to ads that related to their current location. It is important to note, however, that “current location” often refers to home rather than somewhere on the go. In fact, 48 percent of smartphone users and 59 percent of tablet users say that they regularly conduct local searches on their mobile devices while at home in front of the television set.

“Mobile’s Role in the Consumer’s Media Day” was released at IAB Mobile Marketplace, “Make Sense of the New First Screen,” held at the Crowne Plaza Times Square in New York City. To download the complete report, please go to

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