Fear not, teens are still watching…

March 19, 2012

The greatest fear among those in the TV industry – that teens are turning away from television – is not happening. On the contrary, teen TV viewing is increasing at the rate of 2.5% a year, according to a recent Los Angeles Times article.

In the March 9, 2012 article that references a new report titled “Why the Internet won’t Kill TV”, we learn that while teens embrace new platforms like Hulu and YouTube, their consumption of TV continues to grow.

Teens currently watch almost four hours of TV a day, up from roughly three hours spent in front of TV in 2004.  In comparison, teens on average watch only three minutes of video a day via computer or smartphone.

4 hours vs. 3 minutes. No reason, in my opinion, for TV executives or advertisers to be pacing the floors at night.

Will TV eventually fall from grace?  I’m sure it will.  “Everything” does.   But the key word here is “eventually.”

The LA Times article goes on to say that even if there were indications of teens watching less TV, it would take at least two decades “before it significantly impacts the size of valuable TV audiences for advertisers.”

Not two days or two months or two years, but TWO DECADES.

At the risk of sounding overly simplistic, I would argue that worrying about TV’s eventual demise, at this point in time, makes as much sense as riding your bike to work because you’re worried about the eventual depletion of fossil fuel.

Neither is imminent.

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Local TV Still Tops for News, Weather, Traffic

September 27, 2011

A new survey from Pew Research Center entitled “How people learn about their local community,” finds that local TV continues to be the top source for breaking news, weather and traffic, and ties with newspapers as the main source of local political news. And when the respondents said “Local TV,” it was clear from the answers that they were talking about local broadcast stations, not regional or local cable news nets, says one of the study’s authors. For breaking news, local TV was the main source of information for 55% of respondents to the survey, compared to the internet (16%) and local newspapers (14%). Fifty-eight percent of survey participants went to local TV for information about weather, compared to the internet (32%) and local newspapers (10%). And the reliance on local news cut across demos. Even the web-savvy under 40 generation still looks to TV for news (47%) much more than the internet (22%).

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TV Advertising Pays Dividends NOW

April 20, 2010

After 27 years in the advertising business, I have been exposed to all kinds of propaganda, and I’m sure I have been guilty of propagating some myself.  But, I have always tried to base mine on logic.  So when I hear the social media people tell me that television is fast becoming a thing of the past, I must question the logic in which they base this claim.

 Are they unaware that in 2009 the average American home had 2.86 TV sets; 18% higher than 2000 and 40% higher than in 1990? 

Or that Americans spent over 36 hours a week watching TV last year compared to 4-hours a week using the Internet?

Perhaps they also forgot that 35% of all advertising dollars will be directed to TV advertising in 2010.

Even if they were aware of these facts, I’m sure it remains a mystery to them “why” television remains so popular.

So, let me clear up this mystery as succinctly as possible. Consumers continue to purchase TV sets, at a record pace, because they simply enjoy watching what’s on them. It’s passive entertainment. It requires them to do absolutely nothing, but switch it on. A comforting concept in today’s overly active world.

TV receives 35 cents of every ad dollar spent because it works for its advertisers. Despite the debate over Push vs. Pull marketing; there’s apparently more than enough consumers who are still happy to be “pushed” into stores all across America. 

While building online communities, cultivating dialog and adding twitter followers may eventually pay dividends.

TV pays those dividends NOW. 

And from a retailer’s standpoint, coming off the worst recession in 70 years, I can’t think of a better reason “why.”

 

Source:  Nielsen Television Audience Report, 2009

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No Surprise Here: TV Content is Still Watched on TV

October 23, 2009

Picture for Post #33A new report by research Horowitz Associates, that surveyed 800 nationwide multichannel TV customers, reveals that only 2% (or two hours per month) of all TV viewing in the U.S. comes from non-traditional TV devices. That means that the majority of people still prefer watching their favorite
                                                       programs the good old fashion way.

According to Horowitz, the 2% represents two hours of the 130.2 overall hours that U.S. TV viewers watch in a month.

But when consumers do watch online, the #1 device for non-traditional TV viewing is the laptop. The top video viewing websites are:

  • YouTube
  • ABC.com
  • Hulu.com
  • NBC.com

The top types of programs watched on alternative video platforms are:

  • scripted dramas 24%
  • news programming 14%
  • comedy shows 13%
  • sports 13%
  • sitcoms 11%

Horowitz says that of those surveyed, over one-third (36%) wish all their favorite shows were available online; another 30% wish all TV shows were available on handheld devices.

A smaller number of TV viewers (7%) said that if all or most TV programs were available on their computer, they would get rid of their TV service.

The majority, however, still prefer traditional TV viewing. Eight in 10 (79%) say they prefer to watch TV shows on a TV versus a computer or handheld device.

 

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Traditional TV Still Far Ahead of Internet & Mobile Viewing

September 28, 2009

Picture for Post #30The latest Three Screen Report from Nielsen finds there is again another jump in viewing done over the Internet. And to the surprise of some, traditional television viewing also continues to grow. However, the report notes a slight decrease for watching video on mobile devices.

“Although we have seen the computer and mobile phone screens taking on a significant role, their emergence has not been at the cost of TV viewership,” Nielsen’s Jim O’Hara commented.  “The entire media universe is expanding so consumers are choosing to add elements to their media experience, rather than to replace them.”

In the second quarter of 2009, the monthly time spent watching TV in the home by each user reached 141 hours and 3 minutes, up from 139:00 a year ago. 

People who watch video on the Internet averaged 3 hours and 11 minutes compared to 2:02 last year.

However, the monthly time spent watching video on mobile phones was actually lower than a year ago … down from 3 hours and 37 minutes to 3:15.

Is it any surprise that major retailers still turn to traditional TV to reach the masses?  People spend more time with television in just two days than they spend all month long watching video on the Internet and mobile phones combined.

And when it comes to critical mass, TV continues to lead the way in a big way.  While Internet and mobile viewing are showing growth over previous years, numbers that do so are still relatively small, especially for mobile viewing.

Nielsen finds that 284.4 million Americans watched some TV in their homes during the second quarter.  Less than half of them (about 134 million) watched some video on the Internet, while only 15.3 million watched video on mobile phones.

 

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