The way we interact with technology has evolved. New research coming out of the UK shows the majority of people (64%) are now using multiple screens simultaneously. This trend has shown significant growth since 2020, when only 51% regularly used multiple screens.
When taking a look at why users might be increasing their multiscreening, it appears that this is becoming an ever more important way to share their viewing experiences. The research finds 84% of Brits enjoy watching short-form video content whilst alone and yet, 30% of Brits say they are turning to social media for a sense of community and to engage with others who have similar interests. This indicates that users are embracing a different way of communicating and socialising, rather than seeing this as a solitary experience.
The findings come from a study by digital studio TheSoul Publishing, one of the world’s most prolific and popular online media companies, which reaches more than one billion social followers across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest, and Snap.
“Multiscreening really shows that audiences are more engaged, not less. It gives publishers more opportunities to connect with their target audience across multiple screens and platforms,” said Patrik Wilkens, Vice President Operations at TheSoul Publishing. “This in turn means that the industry has to shift, to ensure that the content produced needs to be suitable and most importantly interesting, to be consumed across all screens and platforms.
“What is really exciting is that it also presents publishers more opportunities for advertising, partnerships with brands, and global growth. For example, YouTube’s worldwide advertising revenues amounted to seven billion U.S. dollars in the third quarter of 2021, representing a 43 percent year-over-year increase, a trend set to continue as platforms maximise their use across multiple screens.”
Other emerging trends
Another trend that’s gaining steam is short-form content as demonstrated by the launch of YouTube Shorts last year. These videos, which are predominantly under a minute long, are dominating the social platforms with TikTok’s emergence potentially changing the game once again.
While TikTok’s influence continues to grow, social media users share that they are currently more likely to turn to YouTube (75%) and Facebook (53%) than TikTok (47%), Instagram (47%), Snap (26%) or Twitter (17%) to watch short-form content. Interestingly, content deemed funny (28%) and interesting (33%) was found to be the most shareable.
“As a global content studio, we’re always keeping our finger on the pulse of what’s next – whether it be upcoming content trends or major shifts in consumer behaviour,” said TheSoul Publishing’s VP of Platform Partnerships, Victor Potrel. “These findings confirm that audiences are constantly evolving, especially with today’s fast-paced social media landscape. Viewers, more than ever, want to be a part of the experience, and content creators have to fulfil these needs to find success.”
Another clear trend from the research is that viewers prefer feel-good experiences. Three-quarters of respondents believe that fun and positive online video content will become an even more important and popular source of entertainment in the future. This trend could be bad news for Twitter, however. The research found that just 1% of people deemed the platform to be a good source of positive video content and only 3% believe it will still be popular in 2026.
Platforms that know their users and can offer the best suggestions for what to enjoy next are performing favourably. In the UK, Netflix (22%) YouTube (20%) and TikTok (13%) top the charts for giving the best recommendations to viewers.
When looking into the future, Brits are eager for technologies such as shopping features (22%), virtual reality (VR) (17%), digital animation (15%), gaming content (13%) to enhance their short-form video viewing experience.
VP of Platform Partnerships, TheSoul Publishing
VP of Operations, TheSoul Publishing
TheSoul Publishing is an independent digital studio that produces entertaining, positive and original content for a global audience. One of the world’s most prolific and popular online media companies, their globally based creative team continuously and consistently delivers engaging and irresistibly shareable content for all ages — in 19 different languages — distributed via a social media-driven cross-platform network. From handy life-hacks to clever craft projects, from head-turning beauty tips to brain-twisting puzzles, TheSoul Publishing’s portfolio of media brands emphasize the positive and the purely entertaining. Their most-viewed channel, 5-Minute Crafts, is the No. 1 DIY digital brand in the world and ranks among the Top-10 of all YouTube channels with over 72M subscribers.