Profile: Jeremy Gilley

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Yahoo 'Media Senses' leads online giant's charm offensive

Yahoo is mounting a major charm-offensive among advertisers with the launch of a major research study into consumer usage of tablet devices, as it seeks to better position itself in the battle to attract ad spend.

Yahoo

The online services giant today (30 May) launched the research study, dubbed Yahoo Media Senses, to the media and media agencies exploring how the emergence of tablet devices is resulting in new types of media consumption.

In particular, the study focuses on dual-screening behaviour - or “paralleling” as Yahoo calls it -  with 78 per cent of all home-based tablet usage happening in the living room, and 37 per cent of tablet owners doing so while watching TV.

Yahoo’s study also claims 58 per cent of all tablet owners watch long-form video content - 55 per cent to watch TV programmes and 40 per cent to watch feature-length films - with this figure rising to 73 per cent among audiences aged under 35.

Laura Chaibi, Yahoo EMEA director of research, says: “Brands should provide the kind of content that complements these kinds of behaviours… what would also help [brands engage with these audiences] is if they increase the investment involved in the content production [aimed specifically at dual-screeners].”

Quoting the research, she also highlights how audiences aged under 35 are specifically using their connected devices to find out more about brands while watching TV, specifically after being exposed to branded ad slots.

“One-in-three are looking to engage more with advertisers,” she says. “For under 35s, 75 per cent are seeking more information [on what they’re exposed to on TV screens], 50 per cent are trying to have some kind of a conversation.”

The study was compiled by interviewing over 600 people, consisting of both industry experts and 500 tablet users whose usage was recorded using a bespoke tablet diary app over the course of several weeks.

Also at this morning’s launch event was Jide Sobo, head of mobile at GroupM agency MEC, who claims brands are increasingly exploring how to engage with tablet owners as a means of augmenting their TV campaigns.

“We’re increasingly looking at the other channels people are using [while watching TV]. For instance, with popular programmes such as Britain’s Got Talent we’ll look at stuff like related search terms, or come up with hashtags people might be using,” he says.

“What we try to look out for is how these channels are creating new kinds of consumer behaviours.”

Sobo also says brands and agencies are now attempting to devise suitable attribution models to better allocate their media budgets as a result of these changing habits.

Yahoo is currently presenting the research to advertisers in the UK, as it overhauls its media proposition - recently it has launched a host of tablet-specific products such as Yahoo Mail and tablet ad formats.

Last week Yahoo confirmed its purchase of blogging service Tumblr for $1.1bn and is rumoured to have tabled a $800m offer for online video service Hulu, with possible further purchases potentially in the pipeline.

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