Media MultiTasking of College Students

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Media Multitasking is defined as using multiple forms of media at the same time, particularly using another device while watching television, which is commonly known as multi-screening. This can have a significant impact on traditional advertising as people who media multitask while watching television are far less likely to pay attention to a television advertisement. While this trend is on the rise in many demographics, the collegiate demographic is known for some of the biggest culprits of media multitasking.

Studies have shown that college students media multitask when watching TV. In fact television is no longer an important function in their lives. Crux Research reported that 77% of people between the ages of 16-29 rather live without television then internet. When students do watch television it can often be seen as good background noise for their primary activity online, meaning they very well may be tuning out your TV commercial.

In general most studies place 75% and 85% of all TV viewers using other devices while watching, A Google study indicates that 92% of multi-taskers have used a PC while watching TV; 90% a smartphone and TV; and 89% a tablet and TV.

As a result, the valuable college student market can be very difficult to reach by traditional methods. Fortunately, there are ways of dealing with this phenomenon. First, it’s important for marketers to understand that, as a result of this, today’s college students’ process information differently and have shorter attention spans. Second, multi-channel advertising campaigns are more valuable, as media multitasking allows marketers to reach consumers with multiple channels within the same time frame. Third, media multitasking can lead to media overload and feelings of chaos. Campaigns directed at college students that promote user control can be more valuable as a result.

OnCampus Advertising understands the importance of the media multitasking phenomenon, particularly as it relates to the college demographic. We provide several digital marketing services directed solely at college students, targeting them where they are regardless of device.

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