Most Super Bowl viewers still prefer big screens


Reports of the death of big-screen television viewing may not be greatly exaggerated, but they are exaggerated, MediaPost reported yesterday.

According to new KPMG research, most viewers want to watch their television shows…on television. “A majority of U.S. consumers — 60% — still want to watch their shows on TV,” says the report, “but these same consumers also want their smartphones and tablets by their side.”

Supplementing, not replacing

This finding backs up what Century 21’s Harris Interactive survey learned about how people will be watching the Super Bowl.

A majority of respondents – 52 percent – opted for regular television sets because of their bigger and clearer picture. But at the same time, 36 percent said they’d also be using smartphones and tablets. Of those, 42 percent will be going to sports apps for additional commentary. And nearly a third of viewers 18 to 54 years old will be discussing the commercials over social media.

Is the Super Bowl different?

You could make a good argument that the way people watch the Super Bowl is different from the way they usually watch television the other 364 days of the year. And you’d be right, because it’s one broadcast where people pay attention not only to the program material, but also to the commercials.

According to the KPMG data, 59 percent of U.S. viewers regularly watch on the small screen – 42 percent on a desktop or laptop and 17 percent on a tablet or smartphone.

And when they’re not sitting down in one place (their own or a friend’s or relative’s home) for a few hours to watch the Super Bowl, a significant number of 25- to 34-year-olds prefer smartphones and tablets for their mobility and flexibility.

A video equivalent of the small speaker

Back before small audio speakers became good, advertising agencies used to test their radio commercials by listening to them on small, cheap speakers.

Given the growing preference for tablets and smartphones, television advertisers now need to create and produce their commercials for the small screen.

This means smaller, simpler video images – no supercomplicated, busy epics – so the video won’t turn to mud on the small screen. It also means a different kind of audio mix – not with audio compression to fool the (nonexistent for computers) VU meters, but with peak limiting and a little less low end in the equalization to adapt to the small-screen media’s smaller speakers.

Your commercials will still work on the big screen and big speakers. But they’ll also work on the smartphones and tablets that a majority of your audience is already watching.

Learn more about how to make your advertising work in all media at