Producing, consuming, using, sharing – it’s all about digital and virtual content and we are speaking about music, software, books, newspapers, pictures, videos, chats, dating services and many, many more contents and services on the World Wide Web. It became our daily digital and virtual life to use smartphone, tablets and co. as our new media channels and as if we had never lived without them. Juniper Research confirms that more than 130 million Western European smartphone owners accessed social media sites on their handsets in 2012; Facebook alone has more than 870 million users worldwide on mobile handsets and tablets, while Twitter has around 175 million. According to Ooyala, more than one-third of tablet viewing time is used to watch content of more than an hour in length while Adobe reports that average session time – for all tablet content – is 24 minutes, versus 13 minutes on a smartphone.
But screens are not only used separately. People are media meshing – performing a second media activity related to their TV viewing (posting on social media about the TV programme) and media stacking – performing an unrelated media activity (playing games on their tablets) while watching TV. According to OFCOM’s 2013 Communications Market Report, 25% of UK adults now media mesh and 49% media stack; amongst tablet owners, 81% media mesh and/or media stack. Could you imagine living without a smartphone today?