Women Win Multi-Media Title

Jan 14, 2009  •  Post A Comment

Who multitasks more while consuming media, men or women?
This battle of the sexes pits guys who watch sports on ESPN and go online to see how their fantasy team is doing against women watching Lifetime and going online for child-care tips.
And the winner, according to research company Integrated Media Measurement Inc., is women. Women between the ages of 15 and 49 years old simultaneously watch TV and surf the Web for 17.4 minutes per day, compared to 15.7 minutes per day among men in the same age bracket.
“Considering the amount of sports-related programming that connects the Web to television, it was surprising to see the highest simultaneous usage was among adult women,” said Amanda Welsh, head of research for IMMI. “Our interpretation of this is that women are more inclined to multitask than men, particularly when in the home balancing their personal and professional lives. This is entirely consistent with studies of online television consumption previously conducted by IMMI.”
IMMI does a unique brand of research. It gives panelists a mobile phone that picks up the digital signatures of the audio from media, including television radio and music. This research has so far provided some interesting data about how consumers used different types of media throughout the day. (IMMI was one of the research companies NBC Universal tapped to see how its multiplatform approach to distributing Olympic content was playing.)
IMMI’s findings offer insight as one goes through thinner slices of both the men and women.
Among men, multimedia behavior peaks when they are 18 years old. Males 15 to 18 use TV and the Internet for 21.6 minutes per day, according to IMMI. Usage drops to 15.9 minutes a day among males 19 to 29 and is down to 10.6 minutes per day among men 30 to 39. Usage pops up to 16.6 minutes among men 40 to 48.
By contrast, women between the ages of 15 and 18 multitask their media for only 9.5 minutes per day. That figure rises to 17.1 minutes for 19- to 29-year-olds and climbs to 23.3 minutes among women in their 30s. Multimedia usage tapers off to 15.9 minutes per day among women 40 to 48.
The research also found that during the week, the bulk of simultaneous media consumption occurs in primetime and late fringe. That’s not too surprising, because that’s when people are not at work.
During the weekend, multimedia consumption is more evenly distributed across dayparts.
IMMI’s research is designed to link media measurement to consumer action. In other studies, IMMI has found that when consumers view advertising in multiple media, there is a lift in response rates.
“When it comes to spending incremental money on marketing, if done properly, you get more bang for your buck when you have a multiplatform approach, as opposed to just saturating on a single platform,” said Matt Reid, director of strategic initiatives at IMMI.
In this particular study, there was no data about consuming patterns, but if women are doing a lot multitasking, it makes sense to approach them in multiple media in order to stimulate the most response.
“We’ve noticed that there’s kind of a slight misconception in the marketplace concerning female adoption of technology, particularly with their willingness to multitask,” Mr. Reid said. “They’re watching TV, they’re waiting for the cookies to bake and they’re on Facebook at the same time. That’s the modern mom.”

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