Almost half of all young people use mobile as ‘first screen’

Weve, the UK mobile advertising joint venture firm, is drumming up interest ahead of its planned move into display advertising services, with a research study claiming nearly half of all 18-34 year olds use their phones as their ‘first screen’.  

Weve’s survey indicates a growing trend towards ’multi-screening, especially among younger audiences.

Forty-six percent of 18-34 year olds participating in the survey, which surveyed 2,000 18-55+ year olds in total, cited mobile as their “most important screen”, with 28 per cent of all respondents saying mobile devices are now their first screens, ahead of TV (27 per cent).

One in four participants said they use their mobile phones as their primary method of interacting with online content, with this figure rising to 45 per cent among the 18-34 year old demographic. 

Meanwhile, over 39 per cent of all respondents said their mobile phone was the screen they look at most often, and nearly one in ten consumers claimed they turn to their mobile phones to make an online purchase. 

The survey’s findings come as Weve, whose audience now has risen above 20 million mobile phone subscribers across the EE, O2 and Vodafone networks, prepares to launch its mobile display ad services in beta next month. Sources close to the developments inform Marketing Week, Weve will launch a mobile display ad tool called a demand side platform (DSP) in the long term, but it remains unclear just what services it will launch in beta next month. 

David Sear, Weve’s CEO, says: “We did the research partly because we heard people describing mobile as the ‘second screen’, and we wanted to show the shifts in user habits. 

“We wanted to ask the industry if it was behind where the audiences are, and a lot of marketers will admit that they are already behind [audiences viewer habits].” 

Sear also says this research should help shape advertisers’ understanding of how to engage with ‘dual-screening’ audiences. 

He says: “The status quo of the traditional media mix of TV, radio, online and print has remained unchanged for over a decade – mobile has been catching up fast, but it’s never quite sat at the same table as the better-established media channels.” 

However,  Sear doesn’t believe his company’s planned offering will significantly reduce advertisers’ budgets at the expense of these “traditional” channels. 

“Our view is that you can say ‘first screen here’ and ‘second screen there’, but the fact is that these media are being used in unison. I don’t want to be negative about TV, but [our] mobile ad formats can help amplify other forms of medIa [campaigns],” he added.  



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