Christmas Viewing Likely to Be a Multiscreen Affair in the UK This Year - eMarketer

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Christmas Viewing Likely to Be a Multiscreen Affair in the UK This Year

Multiscreening during TV viewing will be common this Christmas

November 13, 2015

November’s here, the bonfires have burnt out and the Christmas ads have begun to find their way onto our television screens. But while the Christmas ad arms race has only really heated up in recent times, the TV schedule has been a part of the festive tradition for many years more. And UK consumers look set to watch lots of TV this Christmas, though much of that viewing will be accompanied by a few digital relations.

Devices that UK Internet Users Will Use to Watch TV During the Christmas Season, Sep 2015 (% of respondents)

September 2015 polling from RadiumOne indicated that almost 40% of UK internet users expected to watch over 6 hours of TV per day this Christmas season, while 21% believed their viewing would top 10 hours daily.

While other screens are starting to account for increasing amounts of TV time, the TV set remains the screen of choice, with 82% of respondents saying they'd watch this way. That said, a much lower proportion believed they'd only use the TV set—just over two-thirds.

These “other screens,” rather than competing for TV time, are more likely to accompany—or possibly distract from—TV time.

UK Mobile Device Owners Who Are Likely to Use Select Devices Simultaneously While Watching TV During the Christmas Season, Sep 2015 (% of respondents)

This was certainly played out in the RadiumOne data. When mobile device owners were asked how likely they’d be to use their device while watching the big screen, large proportions admitted they would utilize their companion devices—69% of smartphone and tablet owners and a striking 82% of smart watch owners, although the distraction element there could be minimal.

Of course, the terms used to describe multiscreen viewer behavior are semantically charged. Multiscreening could be interpreted as distraction, but by equal measure it can offer the potential to extend the viewing experience. There are clearly challenges and opportunities for marketers when considering this type of behavior, but one thing's certain—the family home is going to be even more crowded this Christmas.

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