You’ve heard the first screen (TV), second screen (laptop/desktop) and third screen (mobile) buzzwords many times before. What’s changed is which is which. Mobile is the new first screen. Today, everyone’s talking about “mobile first”. If your website doesn’t work on mobile, you may as well admit, you’re not playing on the web. If your owned media looks tiny and unreadable on mobile, please raise your hand – and start afresh. Mobile is here and big time.

Is this the death of advertising on tv as we know it? Not quite, but let’s admit, tv is eroding its hold on people. Specially the younger demographic. Wallbog UK says “Mobile is the present and the future for the 18-24 year-old demographic, who use it as a first screen religiously – so it is my view that the market needs to respond by talking to them where they are, rather than to try to engage the consumer on TV or online.”

In some of the markets that we operate in here in the MENA, the jump has been from tv to mobile – the African nations in particular find that mobile is easy, it’s in their hands. They really don’t have that much of an access to the second screen – the laptop/desktop, so most interaction, most engagement is happening via mobile. Because such a large percentage of the population here in the Middle East is under 24 (as much as 60% in some markets), mobile has really jumped to pole position. And brands better warm up to this, and adapt, and adopt.

Again, according to surveys done in the UK as quoted in Wallblog “2,000-person UK-wide piece of research into this and found that nearly half of all 18- to 34-year-olds consider mobile their first and most important screen. Nearly one in 10 consumers turn to their mobile first to make online purchases and over 1 in 3 cite their mobile device as the screen they look at most often. Our study conclusively demonstrates the rapid ascent of mobile devices to ‘first screen’ status.”

Sixty-eight per cent of all consumers said that they receive just the right amount or would like to receive more messages, with the female demographic slightly more responsive to messaging than male. The top five consumer behaviours as a result of receiving a message are downloading an app, researching online, sharing information with family and friends, visiting a store and redeeming a voucher.


by Tom Roychoudhury, chief innovations officer, MCN
from a blogpost