Seven out of ten smartphone and tablet users expect same quality of experience on all devices

By Tom Pepper

New research into consumer attitudes to content consumption on their digital devices shows that seven out of ten smartphone and tablet users (72 per cent) expect the same quality of content experience across all their digital devices. The research, conducted by leading in-content digital advertising company Vibrant Media, highlights the disparity between consumers’ expectations and reality when consuming digital content.

The Association of Online Publishers estimates that one in every three page views comes from a mobile device. Despite consumers increasingly using their mobile to browse editorial, Vibrant Media’s new research shows that most owners of handheld devices – 81 per cent of smartphone users and 71 per cent of tablet users – still prefer to consume content on their desktop or laptop computers. The new data builds on Vibrant Media’s research from April 2013 (which showed that 68 per cent of the UK’s top print publications lack a digital site which renders effectively on mobile devices) to demonstrate consumer demand for publishers to provide an optimised content experience for all digital devices.

Consumers now expect to consume content on their handheld devices just as comfortably as they do on their desktop and laptop computers – but don’t feel that publishers’ sites will match their expectations. A separate, fully optimised mobile site is not an absolute necessity to give consumers an effective mobile experience. Publishers just need to ensure that the editorial of their web sites renders effectively on handheld devices and start replacing desktop-only ad formats with much nimbler ads which work across desktops, laptops, tablets and the small screen format of smartphones.

Many publishers are still reliant on ad formats developed for desktop devices to serve consumers on handheld devices. These desktop-only formats often display as huge messages that obscure the editorial or so small they’re almost impossible to see. Such clumsy ad display is a big problem. It contributes to consumers preferring to consume content on a device other than their smartphone or tablet device, which in turn prevents publishers from realising the revenue they can gain from mobile traffic. It’s also a big problem for advertisers as over half of smartphone and tablet users (51 per cent) say they mostly initiate ads on their mobile devices by mistake.


Vibrant Media surveyed 1000 people across the UK. The survey was conducted by Toluna, one of the world’s leading online panel and survey-technology providers

About the author

Tom Pepper is UK Sales Director at Vibrant Media, which provides the industry leading data-driven contextual advertising solution that enhances brand advertising across text, image, display, video and mobile platforms. With over 6,000 premium publishers, reaching over 250 million unique users per month, Vibrant gives top brand marketers the opportunity to deliver highly targeted advertisements within premium Web content and offers publishers premium editorial tools to re-circulate users throughout their websites. Vibrant was founded in 2000 and has offices in London, New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Paris, Hamburg, Munich and Dusseldorf. Vibrant’s rapid growth has been recognized by the Inc. 500 and Deloitte Fast 50 lists. Vibrant has been named a "Best Place to Work” by Ad Age and Crain’s.

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