Four Types of Multi-Screening Behaviors

Multi-screen behavior

Whether it’s texting while watching YouTube clips or tablet shopping during a Netflix marathon, we know that consumers hop from device to device. But what are the motivations behind device shifts, and how can we embrace those behaviors to improve the consumer experience?

To help answer this question, Microsoft commissioned a study that focuses on the scenarios in which consumers utilize more than one device. The report identifies four typical multi-screen pathways to help marketers understand the process, and thus improve the cross-device consumer experience. Here are the four primary pathways:

Content Grazing: When consumers use two or more screens simultaneously to access unrelated content, e.g. checking email on a smartphone while watching TV.

Investigative Spider-Webbing: A simultaneous path where consumers investigate one topic on multiple devices, for example using a tablet to look up the name of an they are watching on TV.

Quantum Journey: This path is about productivity and efficiency. Consumers use each screen separately to take them closer to a goal, for example using your smartphone to take a  picture of a pair of shoes you like at a store, then going home and looking up that item on your laptop to purchase.

Social Spider-Webbing: Consumers complete an activity on one device, then use a separate device to tell their friends about it. For example, buying a pair of jeans on your tablet then using your smartphone to text your friend about the purchase.