Thursday, December 20, 2007

Where Are The Viewers Going?

Yesterday the AlwaysOn newsletter published a video interview with Tina Brown. As the former editor of Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, she is a respected observer of the media scene. Admittedly “a print junkie,” she has scathing things to say about network news and interesting observations about online news, current and future.
View the video here.

The video led me to Beet.TV, which seems best described as a channel of BlipTV, the video hosting service. BeetTV focuses on media, so it’s a site marketers might keep an eye on.

It also led me back into my files to review some of the data on how consumers are using their media time. The data from eMarketer is about what most of us would expect, except possibly the continued gains of television (overall) in terms of viewing time. Other viewers seem to feel like Tina Brown does, though; network TV is not faring well. The chart from Forrester may help explain why. As the Boomers age and retire, they are watching more TV. That’s not true of younger age cohorts, as we know.

They are watching video and a Harris study quoted today in Marketing Charts gives data on what and where they are watching it. In an article entitled “Viewers Want More TV Episodes and Movies Online,” they summarize key findings:

•Online video viewership has increased overall in the past year (81% versus 74%).
•YouTube’s viewers have increased the most: Nearly two-thirds (65%) of US online adults say they have watched a video there, compared with 42% at the same time last year; the greatest gains were among those over age 25.

Viewers over 25 are discovering YouTube; wonder how far that will go. But if anyone doubts this is an ongoing trend, these data should put that to rest. The only real question is how to incorporate these trends into your media buy and your branding plans.

Think consumer behavior. Think consumer engagement. Then proceed to find out what consumers want to hear from you. Marketing research that follows in the tracks of the Harris study would be worthwhile. Interactive experiments are likely to be even more effective. Your website, newsletters, and blogs can all allow you to track individual pieces of content—how often they are accessed, where viewers go/what actions they take subsequent to viewing your content. Let your customers tell you what they want!
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