Consumer Smartphone Engagement Doesn’t Score Big During Super Bowl XLVI, According to NPD’s Connected Intelligence SmartMeter

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During the widely watched live telecast of Super Bowl XLVI, smartphones did not live up to expectations as a second companion screen to the football watching experience, according to leading market research company The NPD Group’s Connected Intelligence SmartMeter*, which tracks consumer use of smartphone applications, websites, communications, and content services.

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“While the overall smartphone apps market did not match the overly-ambitious hopes of many, the use of both apps and websites still show a significant reliance on the smartphone as a second screen."

During the widely watched live telecast of Super Bowl XLVI, smartphones did not live up to expectations as a second companion screen to the football watching experience, according to leading market research company The NPD Group’s Connected Intelligence SmartMeter*, which tracks consumer use of smartphone applications, websites, communications, and content services.

Football apps, such as those from ESPN and the NFL, showed a downward trend compared to the playoffs two weeks ago. Conversely, NFL.com showed a significant spike in traffic, once again disputing the common claim that apps are now dominating the market at the expense of the web. Notably, neither the Giants’ nor Patriots’ apps showed significant usage during the game and were not in the top sports apps on Sunday.

“While the overall smartphone apps market did not match the overly-ambitious hopes of many, the use of both apps and websites still show a significant reliance on the smartphone as a second screen,” said Linda Barrabee, research director, NPD Connected Intelligence. ”But it is clear that these apps still have a long way to go to become an invaluable part of the Super Bowl experience.”

Consumers did rely on their smartphones for easy access to game-related information. This was punctuated by an increase in NFL/Super Bowl-related searches on Google properties, which represented 6.4 percent of total searches on Game day, and up nearly 4-fold from the two Sundays prior.

Advertisers Fair Better

While the football-related applications experience was a mixed-bag of success, Super Bowl advertisers enjoyed more success.

“The clear standouts for the advertisers were the Shazam and Chevy Game Time applications,” said Barrabee. “Both had strong ad placements relatively early in the game, and – even more importantly – both had strong tie-ins to the ongoing entertainment that helps to drive their use. Shazam’s use by smartphone users on Super Bowl Sunday, for example, was more than the combined use of the app for the previous two Sundays.”

Websites also saw a spike in smartphone traffic. The major highlights were Samsung, Cars.com, GoDaddy and Volkswagen. Again, it is notable that the GoDaddy website out-performed the company’s promoted application, although the margin was relatively small between the two.

“Overall, smartphone use is heading in the right direction and usage during these key events is growing. But the content providers need to work harder to build compelling solutions that truly target the needs of consumers in a multi-screen environment,” said Barrabee. “The most compelling example of the power of smartphones came not from the application or website use, but from the thousands of smartphones that provided a backdrop to the half-time show by Madonna.”

*The NPD Connected Intelligence SmartMeter is an application running on Android and BlackBerry devices leveraging an opt-in panel of consumers. The SmartMeter tracks data consumption, as well as function and content use. This includes web and application use across 23 categories including search, social networking, shopping, banking, games, navigation, health, music, and video.

About Connected Intelligence
Connected Intelligence provides competitive intelligence and insight on the rapidly evolving consumer’s connected environment. The service focuses on the three core components of the connected market: the device, the broadband access that provides the connectivity and the content that drives consumer behavior. These three pillars of the connected ecosystem are analyzed through a comprehensive review of what is available, adopted, and consumed by the customer, as well as reviewing how the market will evolve over time and what the various vendors can do to best position themselves in this evolving market. For more information: http://www.connected-intelligence.com. Follow Connected Intelligence on Twitter: @npdci.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 2,000 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, entertainment, fashion, food, home and office, sports, technology, toys, video games, and wireless. For more information, contact us or visit http://www.npd.com/ and http://www.npdgroupblog.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdtech and @npdgroup.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Sarah Bogaty
+1 516 625 2357
sarah.bogaty(at)npd(dot)com

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