Something Had To Give

I know it’s Friday and we usually do something food-related, but since we covered a food topic earlier this week, today it’s media.  There was an interesting piece earlier this week about the changing viewing habits of younger folks.  Not surprisingly, at least to me, is what the Nielsen study found and I want to share it with you today in case you missed it.  I suppose that the main point is that there are only 24 hours in a day, and even if you DVR or otherwise capture 96 hours worth of content in those 24 hours, you still have to find the time to watch it.  But here are the facts and you tell me what you think.

According to Nielsen’s “State of the Media: Cross Platform Report“:

The new trend among TV and Internet homes shows the lightest traditional television users streaming significantly more Internet video via their computers, and the heaviest streamers under-indexing for traditional TV viewership. This behavior is led by those ages 18-34.

In other words, younger folks are their own programmers and are using their familiarity with technology to facilitate their entertainment experiences.  This seems to be coming at the expense of time spent watching TV (let’s call it video content, shall we?) in the traditional manner.

This is news, actually, since other previous research had seemed to indicate that traditional TV viewing wasn’t suffering.  Older folks tend to watch more TV and they tend to be less technically literate.  However:

Looking at the key 18-34 users — those who are generally more Internet-savvy —  the heaviest streamers in this group were watching 27.1 minutes a day of streaming video as of the first quarter 2011, with traditional TV viewing at 212.1 minutes. By comparison, the lightest 18-34 streamers are looking at 0.1 minutes of streaming video and watching 246.5 minutes of traditional TV content.

Overall content consumption is up and that’s the best news.  But if you’re thinking that older forms of distribution are the only, or even the best, channels through which you can reach a young target with video-based messaging, you’re missing the boat.  In fact, this is exactly the right time to work in newer channels and gain understandings about what works and what doesn’t.

What’s your take?

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