Monday, 7 May 2012

New TV Research. And yet again, it's not good.

I have blogged many times before about the demise of TV - here about VOD and Amazon Studios 

- here about Netflix and how broadcasters are letting the Web sail by them 

- here about The BAI, their ridiculous Advertising restrictions and how they'll impact on domestic TV whilst allowing online broadcasting to grow further 

- here on the stunning growth of youtube 

- and here about how youtube will deliver new content better than TV 

Spot a trend? TV is in serious, serious, difficulty and as traditional broadcasters stand idly by. Nero and Rome.

So lo and behold, only this week, out comes a new piece of research about TV and viewing habits which only adds to the woes, if, of course, they're bothered to read it (which they won't).

What it says, in a nutshell, is that traditional TV has become "moving wallpaper".

It's an extensive piece of research and UK based (so very similar to the Irish market but a good indicator european-wide) of 2,500 responders in March. 

It's recent. And shocking. 

Media buying Agencies should sit up and take note (who read this blog) because this type of data is not gathered by Nielsen as such. But anecdotally, it rings true as well as being backed by science.

Fundamentally, only 60 per cent watch TV live ("live" meaning when it's scheduled) and this makes sense - because we all know about the growth in iplayer viewership. So what seems to be happening is that more and more viewers are watching later.

Therefore, 40% do not see your commercial as it happens, and possibly not at all (if it's viewed through SKY+ or the iplayer). So you're losing audience here, hand over fist.

However, more worrying than that for broadcasters even, is that Social networking is almost as popular now as live TV. We kinda' knew that.... but what we didn't realise is that almost 4 in 10 viewers are surfing the internet on another device as they watch telly.....extraordinary and it is ringing bells. 

Two laptops open using Social Media whilst the TV is on, is regular in our house anyway- so television is becoming wallpaper. Equally we've always known the high dwell times on social media such as Facebook (2.5 hours) in the evening so it rings absolutely true. People are using Social Media while the telly is on in the background AND only 60% have it on live.

So live TV, for a lot of people, is something now quite ambient. Moving wallpaper.

That is a shocker.

This is turning TV data on its head and it so damages the traditional broadcaster's market expect that we'll find protective interests bringing forward spurious data, to protect their own interests, in reply to this.

(I noticed in press last week for example, "A new study of Irish websites has found that Irish Internet users are over three times as likely to trust Irish content sites compared to social networks and almost twice as likely over portal sites. This in turn has led to greater levels of engagement and responsiveness." Amazing.....Irish websites 3 times more likely to be trusted than social networks? So I truly scratched my head...made no sense to me. So I wondered where it came from? "The study was commissioned by the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) Ireland, the industry body representing Irish digital publishing companies". Oh okay. I get it.)

Apart from problems for TV, the Research also threw up some other interesting stuff;

- 3D has also lost its flavour as the need to wear glasses reduces its impact.

- 42 per cent say tablets are still too expensive and 27 per cent are waiting for the price to fall. But 33 per cent prefer a laptop

Only six per cent of the survey subscribe to a music streaming service. (Which doesn't surprise me and hints further at the illegal downloads and sharing of music). Or points to a greater preference for "on demand" services  and indeed the research shows overall there's a reluctance to pay for subscription services.

- Other consumption habits are worth a note. More people read newspapers online than play online games. Just over a third - 36 per cent - gamble, but most do so only infrequently. 

- More people now listen to internet radio (18 per cent) than rent DVDs (13 per cent). And 14 per cent admit to watching porn (with a possible another 86% lying....)

- Apple scores highly as an innovative brand (31 per cent), but the most "boring" brands are Facebook and Twitter.

And last from The Telegraph "The online poll of 1,959 consumers also found that the potential damage to publishing is likely to increase, as a quarter of those who admitted to e-book piracy said they would continue." I would agree.

This Research is another landmark in the TV online revolution and this time it's extensive, it's scientific, it's black & white. 

But most broadcasters will choose to ignore it. Rubbish it. Demean it.

As they slowly lose their business.