Multiple Devices Used to Follow London 2012

By Community | August 12, 2012

British fans were so eager to keep up with the London 2012 Olympics action that more than half not only switched on TVs but also used radios, laptops, smartphones and iPads to follow events simultaneously, according to new research by international consumer research specialist Intersperience.

A group of 250 people around the UK participated in a special Intersperience research project in which they recorded how they followed the action during the middle weekend of the Olympic Games which resulted in a weekend gold rush for Team GB.

The research found that 52% of people who watched the action on television followed events simultaneously across two or more devices, frequently following several sports at a time on different screens. In fact, the research showed that 10% of participants used three or more devices to keep up with the sporting action.

Participants used several devices at once to get a mix of live action, replays and post-event interviews as well as to get more detail on events and athletes and to access social networking sites. Many people chatted on the phone about the Games, while also reading results online, watching live TV and sending emails.

Paul Hudson, Chief Executive of Intersperience said: “Our research shows that London 2012 was not just the world’s first Digital Games, it was a major event for social media.  We found that 45% of the people using social networking sites while watching the Games, were directly communicating about the Olympics. If these figures were replicated across the total population, it would mean that 16% of the total UK population used social networking sites to share the Olympics.”

Facebook emerged as the dominant site, with 95% of participants using it to share Olympics facts and opinions compared to just 18% who used Twitter, although Twitter was more popular when people were away from home.

A total of 46% of people watching the games on TV at home were also using their laptops at the same time while 31% were using smartphones. Ipads proved popular also, especially for using Facetime to connect with friends and family during major events.

Another participant described his experience of following the Olympic marathon: “I had my DAB radio on Radio Five Live, I had my TV switched on with the sound turned off and I used my laptop to get details of the marathon.”

Hudson added: “This research shows that ordinary families are becoming very sophisticated in the way they consume and share information across digital platforms. Digital is now mainstream in the UK – this is a wake-up call for organisations who have not yet mastered multi-channel digital contact.”