Video viewing habits in MENA: Second and third screens as an extension of the viewing experience

May 6, 2015
Video viewing MENA

While the explosion of devices and platforms has given us more access to content and brands than ever before, video programming remains a strong influence in our lives. According to a survey done by Nielsen which results are compiled in the “Screen Wars: The battle for eye space in a TV-everywhere world” report, more than half of global respondents (55%) say video programs are an important part of their lives. The way audiences watch video, however, is shifting.

MENA respondents are particularly engaged in social media while viewing, exceeding the global average for attitudes related to social media use. For example, 57% of MENA respondents watch live programming if it has a social media tie in (compared with 49% globally). In addition, more than six-in-10 respondents in MENA (62%) say they like to keep up with shows so they can join the conversation on social media.

Using social media while watching video programming is only one example of second-screen usage. Getting extra content, researching information about characters, playing mobile games or reading/watching behind-the-scenes interviews are becoming common practices. More than half of global respondents (58%) say they browse the Internet while watching video programming.

MENA video viewing habits

Below are 5 important things brands should do to keep viewers engaged on the second screen:

1/ Adding hashtags to their ads: Adding hashtags to ads, increasingly common practice over the past year, is one of the most basic ways to extend an ad beyond 30 seconds and one channel.

2/ Leveraging the small screen during big live events: Brands should invest in traditional advertising during big live events being broadcasted on TV for a bigger chance for their message to be commented and shared by the viewers on their social media channels

3/ Gamifying TV ads: A good way to incentivize viewers to not only keep watching ads but more actively engage with them is by adding second-screen gaming elements that are either fun for their own sake or tied into contests and sweepstakes.

4/ Bridging a TV campaign with extra digital content: Instead of simply asking interested or intrigued viewers to visit a microsite or Facebook page after seeing a TV commercial, marketers can use second-screen apps like Shazam to quickly link consumers with a campaign’s online elements and provide simple ways to share their enthusiasm via social media.

5/ Giving sports fans a game of their own: When it comes to sports, fans are especially interested in supplemental information and a group-viewing experience. A good idea for a brand would be to create a online space where people could play against each other, predict game action in real time, etc..

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