Satchel Paige is an often quoted baseball player. In fact, much of what he said dwarfs his sizable achievements on the diamond. One of my favorite quotes is his: “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you” and I thought of that this morning when I read a release on a new TvB study.
The study’s main point is
“By every measure, television reaches more consumers every day than newspapers, magazines, radio, the Internet and mobile media, and more time is spent with television. Television also delivers impactful advertising and also connects with consumers through strong news performance.”
I worked at the TvB early in my career so I’ve always had a soft spot for them. I also worked at ABC Sports and I remember sitting in a sports sales meeting one morning where we discussed an ESPN sales pitch which talked about their growth. Amidst general laughter, the gist of the room’s thinking was “no one is going to pay to see sports on TV.” We did a lousy job of looking back and something not only was gaining, but blew by us a few years later. Notice it’s now ESPN on ABC and ABC Sports doesn’t exist.
It strikes me that TvB is doing the same thing. You see, even though people 18+ watched 319 minutes of television a day, time spent on the Internet was 156.6 minutes. This is a medium that didn’t exist 15 years ago and it’s already got people spending half as much time as they do on a medium that’s been around since all of us were born, not to mention that they’re spending more time with it than they do with radio and print.
There is no doubt that people do spend time with TV, much of it locally focused. Prime time ratings are tiny and there are lots of web sites with daily traffic that surpass programs put on by TV networks. While time spent is certainly one measure, what about engagement? More importantly, why are we still focusing on the channel of distribution and not on the content itself?
Your thoughts please?