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TV, Web Vie for Viewer Attention

Posted by Mort Greenberg on March 5, 2008

source: eMarketer

TV, Web Vie for Viewer Attention

MARCH 5, 2008

Best frenemies forever?

More than three-quarters of the US adult Internet users surveyed by Harris Interactive in February 2008 went online while watching TV. More than one-third of the respondents to the survey, which was sponsored by blinkx, said they did so “always” or “often.”“We wanted insight into how to combine television’s best qualities with the immersive, connected power of the Internet,” said Suranga Chandratillake, CEO of blinkx.

Online Activities of US Adult Internet Users While Watching Online Video or TV Content, February 2008 (% of respondents)

Just how immersive is the Web, given that respondents were browsing while watching TV?

It is important to acknowledge that consumers combine their TV viewing with other tasks. Marketers who use TV in their campaigns may not always have a viewer’s undivided attention, and may need a multichannel approach.

It is equally important to avoid assuming that TV viewers never fully tune in, according to Debra Aho Williamson, senior analyst at eMarketer.

“When researchers ask consumers questions like “Do you do other things while watching TV?”, a high percentage will say yes,” Ms. Williamson said. “That is because of the ubiquity of TV and the fact that TV garners a sizeable share of total media time. However, studies have found that only a small percentage of total minutes spent with TV are actually spent multitasking other media.”

Some consumers are not multitasking. They are just watching less TV. More than one-third of respondents to a July 2007 TNSAOLGoogle survey said that increased Internet use was a reason why they watched less TV. However, only 9% said they watched more TV shows or other video content online.

Reasons that US Online Video Viewers Watch Less TV* Compared with a Year Ago, July 2007 (% of respondents)

The next question is: will online TV viewers multitask any less than those who watch on traditional sets?

Learn how TV networks are adjusting to online video growth. Read eMarketer’s Online Video Content: The New TV Audience report.  

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