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Global Consumer Insights Series: 2/3 mobile media consumers use a 2nd screen

By February 14, 2014Analytics, m-commerce

This week saw the release of the second report in MEF’s Global Consumer Insights Series, examining second screen trends across 13 global markets and the ways in which mobile devices are used in tandem with other forms of media. The report highlights how they complement, rather than replace, other channels.

The second screen phenomenon has challenged the widespread belief that mobile obliterates other media. It indicates that the handset is not all consuming. Rather, it complements other activities. Like watching TV or browsing the desktop web.

Key Findings

  • 65 per cent of mobile media users consume media via a second screen (TV, PC, tablet or second phone) while browsing the mobile web. This figure jumps to 89 per when including newspapers, magazines and radio.
  • Second screening drives mobile engagement and transactions with 69 per cent of second screeners making a purchase in 2013
  • TV is the most prominent second screen in 11 of the 13 countries polled. In growth markets Indonesia and Qatar, the use of a second phone is preferred
This study provides further evidence of the ‘democratisation’ of the second screen habit. It found nearly two thirds of mobile media users access their phones in tandem with another media channel. When the sample includes newspapers and radio, the figure is nine in ten.
Unsurprisingly TV is the leading second screen for mobile users. In 11 of the 13 markets surveyed, it tops the list. Of the remaining two, the top complementary channel is a second phone. Indeed, 51 per cent of Indonesians use two mobile handsets at once.

It’s a stat that emphasises the gulf between developed and growth markets: the second phone comes bottom in the list of second screen options for users in UK and US.

Undoubtedly this is because of the plethora of ‘glass’ available to consumers in ‘mature’ markets – TVs are ubiquitous and tablets becoming so. Recent research by Deloitte said between 12m and 13m tablets were sold in the UK in 2013, which means half of all Britons now own one.

Second Screen activity by country

Second Screen activity by country

Outside the US and UK, however, the research reveals tablets to be the least used second screen. In Kenya and Nigeria, four per cent of second screeners use a phone in combination with a tablet.

While this study looks at the ‘second screen’ phenomenon, it also reveals that six per cent of mobile media users are willing and able to access five screens at once. These ‘super users’ – self-evidently the most media-engaged in the sample – will do significantly more buying, browsing and engaging than the two screeners. 62 per cent of five screen users buy physical and perishable goods from a phone against 25 per cent of the total sample.

It’s a marked difference. But the over-engagement in content and commerce activity applies across all second screeners. They do more browsing, buying, downloading and searching than those who use just one device.


For the full press release, and to download the Member-only report, visit the MEF website.  The Second Screen Report was authored by Tim Green, editor in chief of Mobile Money Revolution and is based on research conducted by Analytics partner, On Device Research.

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