Most Women Use Media Simultaneously; Few "Just" Watch TV or Surf the Web

Article excerpt

Marketers planning their media buys take heed: Your female target may not be using media as you expect her to. Today women are increasingly using two (or more) media at once, which changes their awareness of both.

Women are significantly more likely than men to use multiple forms of media simultaneously, according to BlGResearch. Two thirds of women (67%) go online regularly or occasionally while watching TV, as do 60% of men, and an even greater percentage have the TV on while they're (primarily) surfing the Web. Women are also more likely than men to read the newspaper while watching TV (59% of women compared with 53% of men), read magazines while watching TV (60% of women and 50% of men), and listen to the radio while reading magazines (53% of women and 51% of men).

Women seem especially inclined to consider the TV as background noise for other activities: About three quarters say they regularly or occasionally have the TV on while they're online (76%) or reading a newspaper (74%). (See chart on page 6.) Prime time for simultaneous media use among both women and men is 7-11 p.m.

Among moms age 18-34, the Internet is the secondary medium they're most likely to use while watching TV or listening to the radio. Magazine readers in this group split their attention somewhat between TV and radio. And when moms under age 34 are online, they're likely to also be watching TV (46%) or listening to the radio (23%). (See charts on page 6.)

Working women are somewhat more likely than young moms to give their full attention to a particular medium, with the exception of television, which the majority of both groups of women view in combination with other media. The Internet is the medium least likely to command the undivided attention of either working women or young moms: Only 28% of working women and 21% of young moms go online without using other media simultaneously.

The study's authors contend that existing models of media planning have become less applicable given the style of media use that has evolved in the post-Internet age. Most media are consumed in combination with other forms of information and entertainment, with one in the foreground (primary medium) and the other(s) in the background. The authors believe that both programming and advertising must be adapted to fit this emerging style. …