TV viewers embracing second and third screens for access to video content.

A significant share of TV viewers are using PCs and mobile devices as second and third screens to access video content, according to the results of a cross-platform pilot test to be presented by Arbitron Inc. and the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) at the Advertising Research Foundation Audience Measurement 7.0 conference in New York.

The presentation detailed how a separately recruited panel of Arbitron Portable People Meter® (PPM®) participants who viewed broadcast and cable TV outlets operated by CIMM participants also accessed content on CIMM member websites and apps as well as on the leading online video sites — Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube — whether via personal computer or via web sites and associated mobile apps on Android and BlackBerry devices.

Among the findings:

91.7 percent of the panelists who viewed CIMM TV/cable outlets used a second or third screen to access video sites or CIMM member sites

35.5 percent used all three screens — TVs, PCs and Android/BlackBerry devices

Out-of-home consumption accounted for 13 percent of the total time spent with CIMM TV and online video sites

35 percent of CIMM TV/cable outlet viewers accessed online video sites “at-work”

Nearly three out of four of “at-work” video consumers watched on a desktop PC

Simultaneous usage of TV along with video sites was more limited than simultaneous usage of broadcast and cable TV along with social, search and email sites

“The cross-platform pilot that we conducted for CIMM clearly demonstrates the value of personal, passive, and portable measurement within a single panel of media consumers,” said Gregg Lindner, Executive Vice President, Service Innovation and Chief Research Officer, Arbitron Inc. “As media platforms evolve, so too will our measurement technologies as we work to support the emergence of a cross-platform buying and planning ecosystem. We continue to believe that a Portable People Meter-based panel will serve as a solid foundation for more scalable cross-media measurement solutions.”

Jane Clarke, Managing Director, CIMM, said, “The methodologies currently available to track and measure audiences across multiple screens are, at best, incomplete and haven’t nearly kept pace with the rapid proliferation of cross platform content consumption. The result is a media industry that is unaware of the true reach and exposure of its assets. Through its pilot test, Arbitron has laid the essential groundwork necessary to build a scalable solution to multi-screen measurement. We look forward to further collaboration with Arbitron toward reaching one of CIMM’s goals for improving media measurement.”

Multiple screen access to video content nearly universal

Use of more than one video screen by PPM panelists who viewed CIMM broadcast and cable TV outlets was close to universal — 91.7 percent. TV + PC access to online video sites dominated two-screen use at 48.9 percent, while use of TV + Android/Blackberry devices represented the smallest share of two-screen users at 7.3 percent.

Use of all three screens accounted for 35.5 percent of the viewers of CIMM broadcast and cable TV outlets.

While a significant portion of the CIMM TV audience used PCs or Android/BlackBerry mobile devices to access the leading online video sites, broadcast and cable TV was by far the leading choice for video consumption in terms of aggregate time spent with TV and video sites across the measured three screens.

At-work online video site consumption

More than one out of three viewers (35 percent) to CIMM broadcast and cable TV outlets accessed online video sites at work. Of these at-work video consumers, 71.0 percent used a PC for access to online video sites. Android/BlackBerry mobile devices were used by 50.4 percent of at-work video consumers.

While the average time spent with online video sites at work was 2 hours, 43 minutes during January 2012, these at-work video users spent significantly more time at home with online video sites — 8 hours, 5 minutes — during the month.

Among the CIMM and leading online video sites, YouTube was the top choice in terms of percentage of users at work, while Netflix was the leading choice in terms of time spent with online video at work. Only Hulu delivered more time spent at work than at home.

For the CIMM cross-platform pilot, Arbitron defined “at-work” as video consumption that took place whenever the Arbitron PPM indicated the panelist was “out of home” and when consumption took place on a PC that was registered with the study as work or dual-use.

Simultaneous use of three-screen options

At-home PCs and mobile devices make it possible for consumers to use an additional screen simultaneously with TV consumption. The study revealed a marked difference in simultaneous use between text-centric sites and video sites. Among CIMM TV viewers, for example, 90 percent accessed email, search or social media sites with watching TV, but only 65 percent of TV viewers simultaneously accessed CIMM and online video sites. Simultaneous usage by PC users was equivalent to TV users for text-centric content, but significantly less in terms of time spent for video sites.

Arbitron recruited an opt-in panel of approximately 500 people aged 18 and older from retiring Portable People Meter respondents to participate in the CIMM pilot. With their permission, Internet and mobile measurement was added to the scope of their PPM panel participation.

The PPM technology measured each panelist’s exposure to any encoded audio content of local and national television, cable, and radio broadcasts and other media entities.

To measure Internet usage, Arbitron PC meter software (acquired from IMMI in 2010) was downloaded to panelist home and/or work computers to passively capture PC-based Internet usage from all panelists aged 18 and over.

To track mobile usage, panelists downloaded Arbitron mobile software (acquired from IMMI in 2010) onto their smartphones to track URLs visited on their mobile phones. The IMMI mobile software used of the CIMM pilot panel supported Android and BlackBerry phones.

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