Cassies report shows Canadians are bite-sized info bingers

February 07, 2014  |  Rebecca Harris  |  Comments

Consumers like their information in bite-sized chunks, according to a new survey commissioned by Cassies, the annual awards show presented by the Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA).

In the Canadian Cross-Screen Report, 58% of respondents agreed that they are bite-sized information bingers who prefer their content in 30-second packages.

“This study explored how our capacity to absorb messages is changing, based on our interaction with our devices and the social media platforms on which we journey on a daily basis,” said Jani Yates, president of ICA and the Cassies. “If long-form communication such as feature articles and shows were meals, and social media posts and tweets were snacks, a surprising number of Canadians would appear to be addicted to snacking.”

Forty-three per cent of Canadians describe themselves as “social media addicts,” and this figure jumps to 51% among women and respondents in Western Canada. In addition, 54% of respondents report multitasking on more than one electronic screened device at a time, such as watching TV while using their smartphone or laptop.

The survey also uncovered a new definition for the term “couch surfing.” Almost six in 10 Canadians (58%) say couch surfing means surfing for content everywhere and on every screened device (laptops, TVs, tablets and smartphones), all at the same time.

Additionally, 32% of Canadians 18-34 report that their devices make them feel powerful, and without them, they’d feel like they are not in charge of their lives.

“Through these behaviours, we’ve developed a dependency on our devices to keep us feeling empowered and informed, and for our industry’s communicators, there are strategic implications for multi-screen marketing to be considered now and in the future,” said Yates.

The online survey of 1,000 Canadian adults was conducted on the Angus Reid Forum from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2.

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