TV Is Only Half Of It

A little research to start the week.  A new study came out from Burst Media last week.  It was about how people view and interact with online video.  Not very much surprising in it – 71.6% of web users overall watch online content in a typical week—and 39.0% of all viewers spend between one and five hours per week with online video. Men aged 18-34 are the heaviest consumers of online video content, with 19.7% saying they consume 10 or more hours of video on the web per week.    Not much of a shock – almost every content company with which I work has a focus on video and I suppose it’s sort of chicken and egg – there’s more content offered in the form of video so the usages rises and because the demand goes up, content providers produce more.

There was also a nugget that made me pause.

Maybe not a shock, given the growth of iPads and net-books but:

4-in-5 (80.8%) online video viewers say they also use the Internet while they are watching television. One-half (49.0%) say they either always or often surf the web while watching, and only 14.3% say they never go online while watching television.

This confirms some earlier research by Yahoo’s advertising division which found that 86% of people who use the mobile Internet use their mobile device while watching television. Of those using their mobile device, 25% say they are browsing content related to the program they are watching.

One might think that Comedy Central would revive Short Attention Span Theater based on that.  On a serious note, there have been numerous attempts at “view-along”, two-screen experiences almost from the start of the digital age.  We tried at ABC Sports to present one in AOL‘s walled garden for Monday Night Football as early as 1995, so it’s not a recent phenomenon.  However, when nearly all of the audience has a second screen available with which they’re interacting, it seems a missed opportunity for any network to be thinking about just one screen at a time.  Now I realize that some initiatives are out there, but it feels as if the real progress in second screen is being made by the OTT (over the top) entities such as Umami, GetGlue and Roku.  I’m still waiting for something transformative in this space as it has happened in so many others; something well beyond Twitter or hangouts while watching.


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