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It seems that the big winner from multi-platform television is….television. Manish Bhatia, President Advanced Digital Client Services, The Nielsen Company, said in a December blog that the big media story of 2009 is how consumers have fully embraced their expanded options for devices, content and schedules for digital media.
“Nielsen data shows that time spent on each of the three screens – TV, PC and Mobile – is increasing. In particular, the consumption of video content is on the rise across all platforms. Since the mainstreaming of the Internet about 10 years ago, TV viewing is up by about 20%.”
Nielsen’s latest A2/M2™ Three Screen Report – a quarterly analysis from its Anyime Anywhere Media Measurement™ initiative – showed that for Q3 2009 time spent for DVR viewing was up 22.5% in the US, while online video was up 34.9%. The company noted: “Given the consistent spike in usage among the three screens of television, Internet and mobile, consumers are clearly adding video platforms to their schedule, rather than replacing them.”
“Americans today have an insatiable appetite for not only content, but also choice,” comments Nic Covey, Director of Cross-Platform Insights at Nielsen. “Across all age groups, we see consumers adding the Internet and mobile devices to their media diet – consuming media anytime and anywhere possible.”
It is worth noting however, that the average American (covering consumers of all ages) still spends the majority of his/her video time (nearly 99%) in front of the television. In Q3/09, the average American watched more than 31 hours of TV per week, with 32 minutes spent in playback mode with their DVR. In addition, each week the average consumer spent a little more than four hours on the Internet and 22 minutes watching online video. According to Nielsen (the information and media measurement company) the average consumer spent three minutes watching mobile video each week.
These findings echo the sentiments expressed by Simon Orpin, Creative Solutions Director, ITV, at the recent Future TV Advertising Forum in London. He noted that total X Factor audience was up 34% for the last series, boosted by time-shifted viewing on Personal Video Recorders and on VOD but emphasised that while on-demand is scaling, it is not suddenly taking over. “Our view is that the linear channel will remain the primary delivery means for viewing,” he said.
One reason why overall television consumption is benefiting from content on multiple screens is entertainment multi-tasking. The Nielsen A2/M2 report revealed that 57% of American consumers with Internet access at home watch TV and go online simultaneously at least once a month. On average these consumers spend 2 hours, 39 minutes each month simultaneously using the Internet while also watching TV. Their online experience at home is in front of the television almost one-third of the time.
Market intelligence company In-Stat has also noted this trend. In April 2009 the company released the results of a survey that showed that in the US, one-third of men and a quarter of women across all ages reported using a PC while watching TV.
The PC usage is not necessarily watching online video, but In-Stat certainly sees an opportunity from the sheer fact of there being a PC near the sofa.
“Local TV stations, TV networks, Pay TV networks, 24-hour news networks, sports leagues and music channels can instantly connect to some of their viewers, right now, on both the TV screen and on a laptop computer screen,” the company said. “Consumer multi-tasking represents an important emerging opportunity for the TV industry.”
Free multiplatform TV report
Our multiplatform TV report analyses multiplatform pioneers; expanding Pay TV bundles; service provider and content owner rationale; Pay TV business models; the rise of mobile; monetizing mobile video; multiplatform technology challenges. View the multiplatform TV report here.
The business of multiplatform TV – watch free round-table discussion
This Videonet roundtable seeks views from broadcasters and service providers on the current consumer behavioural trends that are driving multiplatform TV then explores how operators can best monetize TV services beyond the set-top box. Panellists are from Telefonica Group, Channel 4, Eircom and Harmonic. Watch the round-table here.