Is DWV Dangerous To Your Business?

It’s an epidemic!  I’m talking about DWV – Distracted While Viewing.  While not as physically perilous as texting while driving, if you are in the business of using television to get marketing messages to you audience, or if you’re a content creator who puts content on a TV screen (and remember that almost ANYTHING can be streamed to a TV), you need to understand what’s going on out there in media land.

English: American family watching TV (cropped)

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You might have heard some folks in the ad business complaining about web sites whose ads aren’t viewable above the fold.  Let’s put that (specious) argument in the context of a research study released last week from the Multimedia Research Group.  Try this summary on for size:

In general, multitasking while watching TV is a growing trend and that an increasing number of US adults are becoming TV multitaskers. The data show that most TV multitaskers are younger adults between the ages of 18-35.  The 35-44 age group is rapidly adopting mobile device multitasking, but still lags the younger adults in performing TV-related multitasking activities.

In fact, only 40% of folk report they DON’T do anything else with a second screen while watching.  An equal number frequently multitask, but not related to the TV program they are watching.  The final group is TV multitaskers; those who frequently multitask related to the TV program they are watching.  The numbers among younger people in particular (18-24) are representative of how things have changed.  80% are multitasking, split roughly evenly among those doing something related to what they are watching and activities that are not related.  The numbers aren’t much different in the 25-34 group although they seem to do more unrelated to what they’re watching.

So the most attractive demo – 18-34  – has learned to use their tablets and smartphones to view TV differently.  They’re distracted from the main screen although some may be quite engaged with the content on their second screen.  The real question is how are you going to rethink what you’re doing to capture this behavior as part of your engagement with this audience.  Anyone have a good answer?

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Filed under digital media, Reality checks

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