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Friday, April 10, 2009

Consumers' use screen media

Matt Thornhill’s excellent newsletter about Boomers referenced the Video Consumer Mapping Study conducted on behalf of the Nielsen-funded Council for Research Excellence (CRE) by Ball State University's Center for Media Design. This is no quick PR generating study but a $3.5 million year research project.

This page has links to the main documents resulting from the study. This is an Adobe copy of the research presentation (it is a BIG document 17 Mb).

It does the research project a disservice to try and distil the findings into a few single sentence headlines. Having said that it is the nature of blogging that you have to just that. I really do recommend that you download the report and study the results. I suspect it will dismiss some of the myths that have grown up about media consumption habits.

The research is US only but I am sure it applies to most of Europe.

  • You might think that "free TV" via the Web consumes a substantial part of video watching – not true. It represents an average time of just two minutes a day.
  • TV in the home still commands the greatest amount of viewing of the 18-24 age group.
  • Even in major metropolitan areas, where commute times can be long and drive-time radio remains popular, computer use has replaced radio as the No. 2 media activity. Radio is now No. 3 and print media fourth.
  • On average, TV users were exposed to 72 minutes per day of TV ads and promos dispelling the belief that today's consumers are channel-hopping or otherwise avoiding most of the advertising in the programming they view.

I found the above slide one of the most interesting. It shows the different types of video streams watched by age group and the amount of time spent on each. As the slide states, the 18-24 year group watch 10 different screen sources for longer than 10 mins/day compared with the 65+.

My bet is that these results vary considerably by socio economic class. I would think that your wealthy, better educated 55+, would have a much higher screen use of playback via DVR, mobile talk, mobile text and games console.

This is a really brilliant bit of research. Dick Stroud

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