Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Aug 19, 2013

Chinese consumers love tablets, and 39% are willing to click ads

SHANGHAI - Chinese consumers are choosing tablets as their most preferred device for watching online videos and reading digital magazines, according to research jointly initiated by Millward Brown, GroupM Interaction, Miaozhen Systems, Modern Media and Funshion.

Eye-tracking gaze trail of a Burberry ad on the iPad
Eye-tracking gaze trail of a Burberry ad on the iPad

84 per cent of tablet owners use their devices for watching online videos, with nearly half using magazine apps, according to the results of the  joint research.

Conducted in the form of one-on-one telephone interviews with more than 22,000 tablet users in 169 cities, as well as face-to-face meetings with 600 tablet users in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu, researchers used eye-tracking for the first time in the industry to test the advertising effects of tablets.

Few studies have explored the user habits and advertising value related to the use of tablets.

According to the findings, users are more likely to accept and engage with advertisements placed on tablets than on traditional PCs. The research shows that 39 per cent of consumers are willing to click on them—compared with 25 per cent on PC adverts.

The reasons are: A clean and neat advertising environment, trendy and eye-catching display effects, unique and intimate interactive features, and high-resolution images on a bigger screen than smartphones.

A bigger screen is also why proportion of usage on tablets is close to 100 per cent, while the frequency and time spent watching online videos are two times and 1.5 times that of PCs, respectively.

In the future, 59 per cent of users plan to watch online videos more often on their tablets, and 33 per cent say they will watch videos less often on PCs.

Tablets have also fundamentally changed user habits by creating a later and longer peak-viewing time period (19:00 to 23:00), and moving the viewing site from desks to more comfortable places like beds and sofas (80 per cent); and outdoors on public transport (40 per cent).

On the whole, the penetration rate of tablets in tier-one to -five cities has reached 30 per cent, or 94,000,000 of the urban population. Within groups with high incomes and better education, penetration rates are higher, at up to 60 per cent. Among white-collar workers (with bachelor degrees or above, and earning more than RMB10,000 per month), the rate exceeds 50 per cent.

Thus, tablets are most suited for advertisers who seek to establish high-end brand positioning and unconventional advertising effects, according to the researchers.

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