Photo (file) - Joe Webb, Head of Digital, TNS Asia Pacific.
Research firm TNS's global study of the digital behaviour of more than 55,000 internet users included the finding that Malaysians are slightly ahead of the global behaviour of 'screen-stacking' or engaging in other digital activities while watching TV.
TNS Asia Pacific's head of digital Joe Webb said that the Connected Life study showed that while adults around the world remain hooked on TV, consumption habits are changing rapidly. Fifty-percent of Malaysian TV viewing respondents (compared to the global figure of 48 percent) engaged in 'screen-stacking,' such as using social media and other digital activities such as shopping online or checking emails.
Webb said Malaysians own about four digital devices each, which was in line with the global average though slightly less than Australia, Germany and the UK, where respondents have five. "This, combined with demand for TV and video content on-the-go, is fuelling the rise of multi-screening or 'screen-stacking' - the use of multiple digital devices at the same time."
"This constant connectivity across multiple devices has come to the fore during the FIFA World Cup in recent weeks," he said. "People the world over are engaging with the event in various ways across different devices - watching it on TV, tablet or mobile, whilst also engaging in conversations on social media. It's a perfect example of how screen-stacking behaviour has really taken hold."
"The desire to access our favourite TV shows at all hours of the day is also driving online TV usage, which extends our access to them. A quarter (25 percent) of those surveyed now watches content on a PC, laptop, tablet or mobile daily. This rises to almost two out of five (38 percent) in Malaysia, where 'phablets' are increasingly popular," said Webb.
TV still important
"Yet despite this surge in online consumption, traditional TV sets still play a huge part in our lives, with three quarters of respondents (75 percent) globally and 67 percent in Malaysia sitting in front of the box every day," he said. "TV dinners are also alive and well, with 72 percent of people in Malaysia giving TV their undivided attention while eating in the evening - slightly below the global average of 76 percent."
Webb added that many of the big global media companies were taking advantage of growing online viewing trends, offering on-demand services such as NetFlix, Tonton, Hulu or HBO GO, which allow people to access premium content wherever they are through their phones or tablets.
"It's no surprise that we are seeing such a big trend towards screen-stacking in Asian markets - the appetite for online content is huge and growing all the time," he said. "However, TV does still have a role to play - particularly during dinner, when we don't have hands free to navigate on other devices. Our attachment to the TV has been supported by the rise in digital set-top boxes, catch-up TV and on-demand services such as Astro B Yond and Hypp TV."
"What's clear is that media multi-tasking is here to stay and the implications for advertisers are significant - there's a real opportunity for those that understand how to really integrate their activity in our increasingly connected world," said Webb.
Conducted between March and June 2014, Connected Life studied the digital attitudes and behaviours of 55,000 internet users across 50 countries.
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