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Gearing Up for Sochi Olympics-Time to Get Appy

February 05, 2014


There is nothing quite like global sporting events to make us app happy (aka, “appy”).  Things like the just concluded Super Bowl, the World Cup and the Olympics have become not just popular for straight viewing, but also have triggered an explosion of interactions via various apps and social media. 

Cloud testing and monitoring solutions provider SOASTA is keenly interested in the subject, especially in regards to how smartphones and tablets are increasingly used as second screens for major live events. The company surveyed U.S. viewers prior to the Super Bowl last month where it received validation of the incredible growth of second screen user engagement.  Curious as to how viewers were approaching the Sochi Olympics which are about to commence, SOASTA (News - Alert) had Harris Interactive conduct and online survey of from January 14-16, 2014 among 2,035 adults ages 18 and older.

The results are illuminating and (again pardon the pun), very app for thinking about the evolution of customer interactions. And, while not a scientific sample, the results are indicative of the impact our personal devices are having on how we enhance our own viewing experiences, and indicate the comfort level of younger folks to fully engage in real time with friends, family and everyone else when the whole world is watching.

The full results of the survey will not be formally released for a few days, but SOASTA was kind enough to give TMCnet a preview.

Views you can use

According to the survey, during the Olympics, Americans will use their smartphones and tablets for the following activities:

  • Check event results (32 percent)
  • Watch highlights (22 percent)
  • Get scores and results through social media (22 percent)
  • Stream coverage of the games (13 percent)

Of the 34 percent that plan on using apps during the event, social media, including Facebook (News - Alert) and Twitter, ranked the highest (21 percent), beating out news (15 percent), and sports (12 percent) apps.

Other popular app categories included:

  • Weather (11 percent)
  • Games (11 percent)
  • Video (10 percent)
  • Food delivery (4 percent)
  • Gambling (2 percent)
  • Dating (2 percent)

The demographic breakdown was as you might expect, but is certainly food for thought.

While women ages 55-64 were most likely to watch the Olympics, millennial men (ages 18-34) were most like to use apps while watching the events. There was one surprise in that millennial men were most likely (7 percent) to use gambling apps while watching Olympic coverage, followed by women ages 55-64 (6 percent).

As we all prepare to the Sochi Winter Olympics, it is clear we want to get appy. In fact, note to Fox Broadcasting and the NFL, while your Super Bowl broadcast was well done, you badly missed an opportunity during the game to be much more engaging.  Time to take some notes during the next two weeks.  

Edited by Cassandra Tucker