Second-Screen No More: New Data from Phunware Signals Media’s Mobile Future

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National survey on 2016 Summer Olympics shows consumers turning to mobile amidst increasing demand for more content and more control

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Phunware, whose Multiscreen as a Service platform helps brands engage, manage and monetize their users anytime, anywhere, today released findings from a national survey, uncovering an overwhelming shift to mobile for media and content consumption, as the gap between consumer content preferences and broadcast coverage widens. The study, centered on the 2016 Summer Olympics, shows mobile has become much more than a second-screen experience, with smartphones and tablets playing the roles of primary devices as fans’ demand for live coverage and customized content continues to increase.

“Today’s consumers want more control over their media experiences. They expect access to the content and information they want, when they want it, and traditional television and even web viewing just doesn’t align with those expectations,” said Alan S. Knitowski, Chairman and CEO of Phunware. “Mobile gives them that level of customization and on-demand accessibility, so it’s no surprise that we’re seeing consumers turn off the TV and turn to mobile to stay connected, especially when it comes to some of the biggest media events of the year like the Summer Olympics.”

Key highlights from the survey include:

  • Primetime coverage no longer enough: While networks have traditionally depended on pre-taped, primetime coverage to drive viewership, 86% of consumers prefer live coverage. 3 out of 4 consumers said they were bothered by the lack of live event coverage during past Olympics, with 61% saying the events are much less compelling/exciting to watch when they’re not live. When it comes to their Olympics coverage wishlist, 75% of respondents want the ability to choose which events to watch, with 63% wanting the ability to watch any event live, not just the most popular.
  • Mobile more than second-screen: 77% of consumers say they’re likely to access this year’s Olympic events and content on a mobile device. Of those who will turn to mobile, more than half cited the ability to watch live coverage as a primary reason, with one quarter saying mobile provides more or better content than watching on TV. What’s more, 70% say they plan to watch the Games directly on a smartphone or tablet, compared to just 23% who will be using mobile as a second-screen experience.
  • Increasing demands for control and customization: More than half of consumers said their Olympics experience would be more enjoyable if they had more control over which countries, athletes and events they can watch. 74% of consumers said the ability to receive customized, real-time notifications and reminders about the events they care most about would make them more likely to download Olympics-related mobile apps, with 75% saying they would opt-in to receiving customized notifications about scores and events.

“Mobile can no longer be an afterthought or an add-on, but must now be at the center of every media company’s content and engagement strategy,” said Knitowski. “Brands have to think long-term. How do you create an experience that’s compelling enough to get and keep consumer attention? More importantly, how do you take the incredible amount of data every mobile interaction provides, and use those insights to better understand your audience and ensure you’re delivering the most relevant, impactful experience possible?”

For more information on how media and entertainment companies are effectively using mobile to create compelling experiences for connected devices, visit

About Phunware
Phunware is the pioneer of Multiscreen as a Service (MaaS), a platform that lets brands engage, manage and monetize their users anytime, anywhere. Phunware creates category-defining mobile experiences for the world’s most respected brands, with more than 650 million devices touching its platform every month. For more information about how Phunware is transforming the way the world interacts with connected devices, visit and follow us on Twitter @phunware.

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Molly George