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Are Tablet Users the New Couch Potato?

Report from IPG Media Lab and YuMe says tablets users are less likely to multitask and pay more attention to video-based ads

Tablet owners are turning into the kind of captive audience marketers have long been looking for.

At a time when more TV watchers are skipping commercials than ever, tablet users are more likely to watch an ad, a new study by IPG Media Lab and YuMe has found.

According to the companies, 85% of tablet video viewers multitask when using their tablets, compared to 86% of smartphone video viewers, 87% of computer users, and 97% of TV viewers.

At the same time, 57% of tablet users are able to recall a brand that appeared in a video, compared to 49% of smartphone video viewers, 47% of computer viewers, and 45% of TV viewers.

What that means is the people staring at their tablet screens are more likely to watch a commercial and remember it.

That’s good news for marketers as they devote more of their advertising dollars to digital platforms — from websites to social media platforms. That includes Hollywood’s studios and TV networks, who are eager to capture the attention of younger consumers increasingly glued to their mobile devices.

That is likely to increase as advertisers get more creative in where they put their spots from integrating them into free-to-play games or unspooling them in front of videos for popular YouTube stars.

Other results of the study, which polled 8,300 people, found:

■ Around 33% of tablet users watch videos alone, versus 29% of computer users, 28% of smartphone users, and 5% of TV viewers.

■ The two most common places people watch video on their tablets is on the couch and in bed, with 100% of tablet video viewers watching video when they’re at home.

■ Tablet owners tend to skew older and have more money because tablets are still a discretionary device.

■ Tablets are primarily used for media consumption when connected to a Wi-Fi network.

■ The necessity to hold a tablet seems to command users’ attention to what’s on screen, while apps also focus users more on the content than ads or programming on TV.

■ Around 65% of tablet owners spend over an hour a day watching video on the devices.

■ And ads are more effective when interactive elements, like asking viewers if they want to watch more content or share a video, is offered.

“We need to look at the tablet as a great next ad vehicle, and if it is in fact the greatest video viewing device, it can also be one of the great ad devices and we need to look at taking creative specifically for the tablet, knowing it is a great one-to-one ad environment,” said Scot McLernon, chief revenue officer at YuMe, in an interview with Beet.TV, to discuss the findings.

For video explaining the results of the two companies during the YuMe Research Roadshow, click here and here.

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