Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Web Not Cannibalizing TV Viewership, Rather It Strengthens It

The fear that a new technology will destroy an old one is probably as old as the story of creation. That the rise of web use in a day would in a zero sum game, bring TV viewership down by an equal amount. That is not the case! "Nearly 60% of TV viewers now use the Internet once a month while also watching TV." Yes TV viewers do multitask.

The rise of social networking, the need for shared experiences, and the content on the big tube comes together into a converged usage model. We watch the Oscars, Super Bowl, American Idol, or other program, and simultaneously share our thoughts at the virtual water cooler, through Facebook, instant messaging, or other online program. As more people put their computer into the same room as their TV, that percentage will only rise. And as TV manufacturers add internet access directly into the TV, we could literally approach 100% simultaneous web and TV usage. That convergence is here and actively being embraced.

In addition, this study by Nielsen shows a rise in DVR usage as well as mobile and online. "Online video consumption is up 16% from last year. Of note, approximately 44% of all online video is being viewed in the workplace." I presume, the lunch hour is being used for that time to catch up while eating your sandwich. Let's hope our productivity doesn't suffer too much!

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