Not too long ago, ad breaks meant time to make a cup of tea or hit fast forward on the TiVo. Now it seems audiences are not tuning out, but tuning in while switching screens. They may not be looking at their televisions, but many are using ads as a window of opportunity to send emails, browse the Web, or check feeds on Twitter or Facebook.
A study conducted for Bravo Media by Latitude Research surveyed more than 1,000 people and observed more than 100 people watching TV in a variety of situations. It found that 73% of those surveyed used a second screen while watching a program, increasing their likelihood of refraining from ad skipping. It also found that viewers using both a smartphone and a tablet or laptop were around 20% less likely to skip through ads than those only using a smartphone (40% versus 50%).
This presents a number of opportunities for advertisers and TV networks. Being smart about sound can help capture audiences and offer cues for interacting with consumers instantly through other devices. So, instead of ads now being a break, they give advertisers the opportunity to tune into audiences even more.