The 2012 Summer Olympics in London provided for a plethora of digital knowledge the advertising and technology industry has been releasing over the past few days since the official wrap of the games on Sunday. Most of this data has focused on increasing platform and channel consumption indicating how people are interacting with digital content, using the Olympics as an example. According to comScore, 20 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing compared to 110 million that own one today (Source: comScore Voices). When comparing overall adoption to population, the numbers are equally impressive in the UK where 15 million were estimated to be smartphone owners at the end of 2011 and a forecast of 19 million by the end of 2012 making an approximate 30-35% adoption rate (Source: eMarketer).
What’s even more interesting is the emergence of an entirely new platform that wasn’t available four years ago, the tablet. Since its release in 2010 adoption has increased from approximately 5-6% in both the U.S. and UK in 2011 to 19% in the U.S. and 13% in the UK at the beginning of 2012 (Source: Pew Research, eMarketer). To put it lightly, “the ubiquity of smartphones and the rapid adoption of tablets have created new channels for fans across the globe” (Source: comScore). These channels have also changed habits for consumers where the fluidity of action between one platform to the next has moved from a prediction to become the norm. Past research has even indicated that consumers that use multiple platforms such as tablets while watching TV increases overall brand recall. Apple still rules the roost with the iPad dominating 70% worldwide but analysts seem to think competition from Microsoft and Google might turn things around later in 2012. However, it all comes down to the user experience and with apps like iTV making viewing easy and cable subscription free on the iPad, it’s no wonder Apple is in the lead.
One of the latest platforms to come into the channel mix is the Smart TV also known as Connected TV, which can be likened to the smartphone and tablet in the way that apps are used. Internet TV or Internet-Enabled TV is another platform on the market which uses video streaming technology. Although ownership trends for both Smart and Internet TV’s are increasing, it is still pretty obvious that consumers are confused about the technology and differences between the two. Where there is consumer confusion, adoption is likely to be slow, particularly among the majority but there will always be early adopters that eventually lead the way for the laggards.
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