Advertisers and Sponsors Must Consider Explosion of Multi-Screen Viewing and Social Habits

Historically, “watching” the Olympics meant sitting in front of a big screen television—at home or in a bar or restaurant–sharing the experience live with your family or friends. But the way Americans take in the upcoming 2016 Summer Games will be quite different, driven in large part by the evolving way people—particularly Millennials between 18 – 34 years old—consume the events.

Multi-Screen Viewing

One of the major changes will be multi-screen viewing: millions of fans will take in Olympic coverage through their mobile phones, tablets and their televisions—often simultaneously. While, according to eMarketer “television is likely to remain the top live viewing channel in the United States,” data from Resonate indicates:

  • Those who watch the Summer Olympics are 12% more likely than the average online user to be heavy social media users and are 12-17% more likely to spend 2-5 hours online a day.
  • Viewers of the Summer Olympics are between 21-23% more likely to go on their tablet or phone while watching TV, and are 13% more likely to multi-task between watching TV and using their desktop computers.
  • Americans who watch the Summer Olympics are 80% more likely to use sports mobile applications on their mobile devices, and are 12% more likely to have a Twitter account, which can be a valuable platform for recaps, highlights, and updates for recent results.

Time-Adjusted Viewing

Those who watch the Summer Olympics are 26% more likely to watch TV using a time-adjusted/DVR service. So although Rio di Janeiro is only one hour ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time, there will be a substantial volume of TV viewing via DVRs.

Spoiler Alerts

Olympics watchers are 25% more likely to use entertainment applications and 14% more likely to use social networks that tend to share results in real time. That means they’ll have to change their online behavior to avoid “spoilers”—prematurely hearing results of events they’ve DVR’d.

Overall, the 2016 Summer Olympics will be the most social and connected games ever. As gathering around the big screen TV in the family room shifts to streaming the games onto a laptop and monitoring Twitter feeds in real time, viewers will have more options than ever to watch, follow and share the world’s greatest athletic competition.

So what does this mean for advertisers and sponsors of the Olympics—and other “must see” events? The risk of running ads only on television means missed opportunities to connect with their target customers–especially Millennials. As the Summer Games will demonstrate, a multi-screen strategy is becoming essential to reaching fans across all devices and screens.

Rachel Eldridge is Senior Manager, Professional Services at Resonate