Study: ‘digital natives’ switch devices and platforms every two minutes, lack emotional engagement

Great writeup from The Verge reinforcing the need to have a platform-agnostic approach. If a user begins an engagement with a brand on one channel (maybe a Shazam(?) with their from a TV commercial) but then doesn’t have a continuing FB or mobile or iPad or desktop engagement opportunity, they’ll move on to find whatever their looking for from someone else.

Study: ‘digital natives’ switch devices and platforms every two minutes, lack emotional engagement
http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/9/2935966/time-digital-native-media-study

A new study revealed by Time indicates that those who grew up with mobile tech are restless and emotionally detached consumers, switching between TVs, magazines, tablets, smartphones, or channels within platforms about 27 times an hour while experiencing “fewer highs and lows of emotional response.” The study says that these “digital natives” use media to “regulate their mood,” and that as soon as they’re bored or tired, they shift their attention elsewhere. And while a cursory glance at any vacuous, smartphone-equipped person might be enough to declare the findings plausible, Time’s study appears to be more scientific: researchers used biometric monitoring and point of view video capture to monitor people’s daily media consumption habits.

The study also says that these adept media navigators take their devices from room to room with them 65 percent of the time, that 54 percent of them prefer texting to talking, and that they subconsciously switch between platforms and can “pick up different pieces of a story from different mediums in any order.” In contrast, the study reveals that 41 percent of “digital immigrants” (those who adopted technology later in life) carry their devices around, that only 28 percent of them prefer texting to talking, and that they are “intuitively linear.” Time says that the findings could help content creators and marketers, and that if they want to hold the attention of digital natives, they’ll need to grab them with “content they can snack on.”

And the Press Release

Time Inc. Study Reveals That “Digital Natives” Switch Between Devices and Platforms Every Two Minutes, Use Media to Regulate Their Mood
http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120409005536/en/Time-Study-Reveals-%E2%80%9CDigital-Natives%E2%80%9D-Switch-Devices

According to a new Time Inc. study, consumers who grew up with mobile technology subconsciously move between devices and platforms 27 times per hour and experience fewer emotional highs and lows with media content than previous generations

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Time Inc., one of the largest branded media companies in the world, commissioned a study titled “A Biometric Day in the Life” to show how the proliferation of digital devices and platforms would affect the media consumption habits of “Digital Natives” (consumers who grew up with mobile technology as part of their everyday lives) and “Digital Immigrants” (who first learned about mobile technology in their adult lives).

“As a multiplatform media company, we are constantly looking at how technology affects the way our audiences consume media. Using biometrics, we were able to drill down even deeper to the emotional experience and subconscious behavior of these audiences”

This first-of-its-kind study combined Innerscope Research’s biometric monitoring and point of view camera glasses in people’s homes throughout morning, evening, and weekend day parts with a national sample survey from M&RR. The results were used to understand how different generations of consumers engage with various media platforms.

“As a multiplatform media company, we are constantly looking at how technology affects the way our audiences consume media. Using biometrics, we were able to drill down even deeper to the emotional experience and subconscious behavior of these audiences,” said Betsy Frank, Chief Research & Insights Officer for Time Inc., which owns brands including TIME, PEOPLE, Sports Illustrated and InStyle. “In order to keep Digital Natives engaged, content creators and marketers will need to think differently. Grabbing them from the beginning is essential, as is content they can snack on and offering multiple access points to every story.”

During the 300 hours of monitoring, “Digital Natives” and “Digital Immigrants” wore biometric belts, which measured their emotional engagement throughout their normal day, and glasses with embedded cameras that monitored which medium or platform they were using and when they altered their visual attention.

The findings include:

  • Digital Natives switch their attention between media platforms (i.e. TVs, magazines, tablets, smartphones or channels within platforms) 27 times per hour, about every other minute.
  • Because Digital Natives spend more time using multiple media platforms simultaneously, their emotional engagement with content is constrained. They experience fewer highs and lows of emotional response and as a result, Digital Natives more frequently use media to regulate their mood – as soon as they grow tired or bored, they turn their attention to something new.
  • At home, Digital Natives take their devices from room to room with them (65% vs. 41% for Digital Immigrants) – rarely more than an arm’s length away from their smartphones – making switching platforms even easier.
  • More than half (54%) of Digital Natives say “I prefer texting people rather than talking to them” compared with 28% of Digital immigrants – a significant indicator of how marketers and content creators need to communicate with them.

One major implication of these findings is that Digital Immigrants are intuitively linear – they want to see a beginning, middle, and end to stories. For Natives, stories still need a beginning, middle and end, but they will accept it in any order. Digital Natives are subconsciously switching between platforms and can pick up different pieces of a story from different mediums in any order.

“This study strongly suggests a transformation in the time spent, patterns of visual attention and emotional consequences of modern media consumption that is rewiring the brains of a generation of Americans like never before,” said Dr. Carl Marci, CEO and Chief Scientist, Innerscope Research. “Storytellers and marketers in this digital age will continue to face an increasingly complex environment with a higher bar for engaging an audience of consumers.”

 

 

– Randall Noval

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s