London Olympics ushers in new TV behaviours
We asked 1,010 adults (aged 18+) across Great Britain about how they followed the London 2012 Olympic Games, using different media channels.
TV came out on top with 41.0m watching any televised events, and 38.8m watching live footage.
With 2,500 hours of live coverage made available across over 24 dedicated video feeds, 21.9m viewers tuned into these additional streams during the Games via interactive TV and online. 6.6 million viewers used the Red Button function for the very first time.
A total of 8.8m watched on-demand footage across TV, PC and mobile platforms and 7.2m used a mobile phone or tablet device to watch or read about the Games. Of those using a mobile phone, 28% were using a form of mobile media for the first time (either watching video or using mobile internet.)
We are seeing changing behaviours in the way that computer screens are being used –27% were using PCs or laptops to read news reports, but almost as many (23%) were watching either live or catch-up video online.
We also saw other new behaviours emerging – such as the crossover between TV and social media. Our research showed that 2.7m were experiencing this for the first time during the Olympics, reading or posting about the Games on social media sites at the same time as watching them on television.
Newspapers and radio also proved their ongoing appeal, with 46% reading about the Games in a newspaper and 29% hearing about them on the radio.
The BBC’s broad coverage of the Games has clearly introduced new media technologies and behaviours to new audiences. The huge volume of coverage posed a new challenge for many consumers – how to navigate dozens of channels and thousands of hours of TV footage to find the events they wanted to watch. For many, TV’s red button provided the solution and – even though it has been around for over a decade – gave 6.6 million viewers their first real reason to experiment with it.
Once people have cleared the initial hurdle of experimenting with new technologies or behaviours, the barrier to repeating them is lowered as they have a clearer understanding of the benefits, and the confidence to use them again. We expect to see more evidence of these sorts of behaviours in the future.
Scott Thompson is Digital Research Manager at Starcom MediaVest Group