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UK set for multiscreen Christmas

UK consumers look set to watch a considerable amount of TV this Christmas, though much of that viewing will be accompanied by a few digital relations, suggests recent research.

September 2015 polling from advertising platform specialist RadiumOne reported by eMarketer indicated that almost 40 per cent of UK Internet users expected to watch over 6 hours of TV per day this Christmas season, while 21 per cent 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 per cent 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.

According to eMarketer, this was borne 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 utilise their companion devices—69 per cent of smartphone and tablet owners and a striking 82 per cent of smart watch owners, although the distraction element there could be minimal.

eMarketer accepts that the terms used to describe multiscreen viewer behaviour 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 behaviour, but one thing’s certain—the family home is going to be even more crowded this Christmas,” concludes the research firm.

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