Posts Tagged ‘television’

Study: 86% of people use mobile devices while watching TV

January 26th, 2011

Photo by Eelke Dekker

By Chris Hogg

According to a study published by Yahoo’s advertising division, TV fans are very active on the mobile front. The report indicates nearly 90 percent of boob tube watchers are using a mobile device at the same time.

It began as a passive past-time meant to escape from the everyday, but television today is turning into an engaging experience thanks to that smartphone in your pocket. Be it Twitter, Facebook, email or instant messaging, TV watchers are doing more than watching what’s on screen.

According to stats released by Yahoo/Nielsen, 86 percent of mobile Web users (and 92 percent of people aged 13 to 24) are using a mobile device while watching TV and one quarter of them are looking at related content to what they’re watching on screen. For this study, Yahoo interviewed 8,384 Americans aged 13 to 64. Of those, 5,313 were mobile Internet users.

The study (PDF) says TV watchers use their mobile to simultaneously text family and friends (56 percent); visit social networking sites (40 percent); browse content unrelated to the program on screen (37 percent); email friends and family (33 percent); use mobile apps (33 percent); browse for content related to the show on screen (24 percent); search for info based on a commercial that aired (23 percent); and instant message with friends or family (12 percent).

Courtesy Yahoo

“This data mirrors Yahoo research on PC users, as we see that mobile users often scan content unrelated to TV programming, participate on social networks and send email,” the study reports. “Mobile allows ample opportunity for brands to continue the conversation after the TV ad is flighted.”

In addition to post-program interaction, the real-time Web and mobile apps are changing how people consume content on television. Evidence can be found with shows like Glee or Obama’s State of the Union address where people took to social networks like Twitter to discuss what they were seeing in real-time.

Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo, recently spoke about Glee’s use of social media with Kara Swisher, showing how mobile devices have changed the TV-watching experience.

“The characters on Glee actually tweet and they tweet during the show,” Costolo said. “When Glee starts, the moment it airs for the first time on the East Coast, the tweets per second for Glee shoot up. They stay up there at a super high level at hundreds of [times] what they are before the show comes on until the moment the show ends and then they drop. [...] People feel like they have to watch the show while it’s going on because the community is tweeting about the show and the characters are tweeting as the show’s happening so [they have to] watch it in real time.”

ReadWriteWeb notes the Glee phenomonenon has caused viewers to tune into the show in real-time rather than time-shifting or recording it on DVR.

For marketers who want to connect with today’s modern TV-watcher, Yahoo says mobile usage presents “a compelling opportunity for content providers and advertisers alike to complement the viewing experience on the mobile platform.”

[Cross-posted to Future of Media & Digital Journal]

An interview with the Ted Williams, the homeless man with the amazing voice

January 5th, 2011

Yesterday, I stumbled upon a video of a homeless man asking for money at a highway overpass. Nothing overly exciting, until he opened his mouth and an incredible broadcasting voice boomed out.

There were 303 views on the video at that time, and I was amazed that more people had not seen it. I checked back today, and was happy to see the video of the man with a dream had gone viral and had 5.3 million views in one day.

The man is Ted Williams of Columbus, Ohio and after pulling himself out of a life of drugs and alcohol he was looking to get his life back in order with a hope to work in radio or broadcasting. With the success of this YouTube Video, Williams’ face went everywhere and word now is that he’s been offered a job and a home. Awesome.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, I’ve included the video below and followed-up with a longer interview he gave to CBS that is touching. I’m so glad to see life is working out for Mr. Williams.

The YouTube video that made him famous:

A great interview he gave about what it feels like to become a star:

Newspapers surpass broadcasters in total minutes of videos streamed

December 22nd, 2010

According to a report from video-hosting platform Brightcove, newspapers have pulled ahead of broadcasters in total minutes of videos streamed for the first time in Q3 this year.

“This is an interesting development, and suggests that newspapers are rapidly adopting and producing video content for what was once a print business,” the report (PDF) says. “This data also bears out the distinct differences in the content between the two verticals: broadcasters have fewer but longer titles, while newspapers are producing many more, but shorter titles on a more regular basis.”

Courtesy Brightcove

Brightcove says newspapers streamed 313 million minutes compared to 290 million for broadcasters. Newspapers also saw more titles uploaded and spikes in video production coincided with major events such as U.S. mid-term elections and the World Cup. The report says newspaper uploaded 482,000 titles in the Q3, an increase of 51 percent compared to the previous quarter and 100 percent growth compared to the same quarter last year.

Courtesy Brightcove

Video uploads from the online media category passed broadcast uploads for the first time in Q3, a growth of 188 percent compared to this time last year for online media.

When it comes to time spent watching video, the report says audience engagement stayed relatively the same over Q1, Q2 and Q3. Some verticals, however, saw a decrease in minutes watched. As the study notes: “Completion rates went up in some of the same verticals, suggesting that while the content may be shorter, engagement via completion rates may be higher.”

Newspapers and brand marketers were the only two verticals who did not see a slight drop in average minutes viewed per stream. Broadcasters were much higher than other verticals for average minutes watched per stream, a fact Brightcove attributes to long-form content.

Courtesy Brightcove

When it comes to watching a video from start to finish, the report says completion rates were relatively constant but spikes were seen from online media properties, broadcasters and brand marketers.

Video discovery and referrals

Facebook overtook Yahoo for video referral traffic in Q3 and the company is now second only to Google. Facebook accounts for 9.6 percent of all referred video to media companies.

Futhermore, visitors who come through Twitter spend more time watching video. Brands saw Twitter users watch 1:47 minutes of video, broadcasters saw 1:57 minutes of video plays from Twitter users, and online media properties saw Twitter users watch 1:40 minutes of video content.

“Google accounted for significantly higher engagement for newspapers at 1:57 minutes, compared to the category average of 1:27 minutes,” the report notes. “This suggests that viewers look to the search engine as a source for the most relevan breaking and timely content.”

Courtesy Brightcove

The report also says, “Facebook was the most engaging referral source for entertainment categories, including broadcasters (1:57 minutes) and magazines (1:34 minutes). This can be explained that entertainment is a more commonly shared and more engaging content type among friends connecting on the social network.”

Courtesy Brightcove

Video consumption breakdown by device

In Q3, Brightcove looked at minutes of video watched and how it changed across various devices. The company says game consoles (such as Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation) came out on top with an average of 2:45 minutes watched per view. Online consumption came in at 2:27 minutes per view.

“This is not surprising given that gaming consoles are currently the most common playback device connected to TVs and most closely replicate a comfortable lean-back experience,” the report says. “We anticipate this disparity to increase as more customers make content available to viewers through connected TV apps and gaming consoles.”

Courtesy Brightcove

More information and statistics are available here (PDF).

[Cross-posted to Future of Media]

More Americans consuming news, political ideology a factor

September 13th, 2010

According to a new study, Americans are consuming more news; technology is complementing traditional media; breaking news and entertainment are leading news categories; and political bias in media is increasingly noted by news consumers.

According to a new Pew Research Center study, Americans are spending more time consuming the news today than much of the last decade. The study credits digital platforms as playing a larger role in news consumption.

When it comes to preference on where one consumes news, 34 percent of those surveyed said they went online for news, which is on-par with the number of people who follow news on the radio and slightly more than those who consume news via a daily newspaper.

In the world of mobile, 44 percent of Americans say they consumed news through a mobile digital source. Out of 3,006 adults surveyed, 9 percent said they consumed news via a Web- or mobile-based platform without going to a traditional source of news such as TV, radio or print.

The number of Americans who go to traditional media platforms such as TV, radio and print for news remains stable or is declining slightly over the last few years, Pew says.

“There has been no overall decline in the percentage saying they watched news on television, and even with the continued erosion of print newspaper and radio audiences, three-quarters of Americans got news yesterday from one or more of these three traditional platforms,” the study indicates.

Pew says technology is complementing traditional platforms, and more than one-third (36 percent) of Americans said they consumed news from both digital and traditional sources. That number is slightly lower than those who consumed news via traditional sources only (39 percent).

“The net impact of digital platforms supplementing traditional sources is that Americans are spending more time with the news than was the case a decade ago,” Pew reports. “As was the case in 2000, people now say they spend 57 minutes on average getting the news from TV, radio or newspapers on a given day. But today, they also spend an additional 13 minutes getting news online, increasing the total time spent with the news to 70 minutes. This is one of the highest totals on this measure since the mid-1990s and it does not take into account time spent getting news on cell phones or other digital devices.”

While digital platforms are leading to an increase in news consumption among those who follow the news, Pew says there is “…little indication they are expanding the proportion of Americans who get news on a given day.” In total, the survey showed 83 percent of Americans get news in one form or another each day.

Despite the fact younger generations are often more connected with technology, the study indicates there is no indication they use technology to get news at higher rates than older Americans. People in their 30s are the only group in which the majority (57 percent) get news on one or more digital platforms. Among older groups, 49 percent of people in their 40s and 44 percent of those between 50 and 64 got news through one or more digital platforms. Those numbers are comparable to the 18 to 29 demographic (48 percent).

Consuming traditional media

When it comes to the consumption of traditional media, about one quarter (26 percent) report reading a newspaper in printed format. That is down from 30 percent from two years ago and 38 percent in 2006. Among adults younger than 30 years old, that figure drops to only 8 percent.

Newspaper readership online continues to grow, up 13 percent from 2008.

For cable news, Pew says 39 percent of those surveyed indicated they get regular news from a cable channel. However, the study notes, “Proportions saying they regularly watch CNN, MSNBC and CNBC have slipped substantially from two years ago.”

When it comes to specific media outlets, Pew says Fox News is the only cable news outlet to maintain its audience size. That is attributed to the increasing number of Republicans who get news from the cable channel, Pew says.

Types of news and political ideology

According to the study, news audiences are drawn to different sources for different reasons and breaking news and entertainment are top categories for news. Furthermore, cable TV draws both liberal and conservative audiences who say they want opinion segments and interesting views.

The study notes political ideology is still a determining factor in Americans’ choices of news sources.

Overall, the number of Americans who say following the news is important has dropped from 52 percent in 2008 to 45 percent today.

“The decline is linked to partisanship and ideology,” Pew reports, “In 2008 67 percent of liberal Democrats said they enjoyed the news a lot, compared with just 45 percent today. By contrast, about as many conservative Republicans say they enjoy keeping up with the news today as did so two years ago (57 percent now, 56 percent then). This has resulted in a switch in news enjoyment. Today, conservative Republicans enjoy keeping up with the news more than any other ideological and partisan group; just two years ago it was the liberal Democrats who held that distinction.”

In total, 82 percent of respondents also say they see at least some bias in news coverage; by a 43 percent to 23 percent margin, more say it is a liberal than a conservative bias.

Furthermore, Republicans say they are more skeptical of major news sources than Democrats, with one exception: Fox News, which 41 percent of Republicans believe all or most of, where as Democrats believe 21 percent.

Emerging trends: The Pew study notes the following emerging trends when it comes to news consumption:

  • More men (50 percent) than women (39 percent) get news on digital platforms, such as the internet and mobile technology.
  • Men are more likely to get news by cell phone, email, RSS feeds or podcasts than are women. But men and women are equally likely to get news through Twitter or social networking sites.
  • Search engines are playing a substantially larger role in people’s news gathering habits, as 33 percent regularly use search engines to get news on topics of interest, up from 19 percent in 2008.
  • Despite increased news consumption, Pew says the public struggled with a four-question current events quiz (only 14 percent answered all four correctly). That said, 51 percent of regular Wall Street Journal readers and 42 percent of regular New York Times readers aced the quiz.

The survey was conducted June 8 to 28 on cellphones and landlines. It can be read online in full here.

Google, Intel and Sony team up in boob tube deal

March 18th, 2010

According to the New York Times, Sony has joined forces with Google and Intel to develop a platform under the Google TV name. The goal is to bring Web video into the living room with new TVs and set-top boxes.

The Web-based TV game is a competitive landscape, with big players such as Netflix, TiVo, Apple TV and a billion brand names you’ve never heard of making set-top boxes to stream content from the Web.

The Sony-Intel-Google partnership’s goal is to beef up their portfolio and extend their presence into another room of the house. Google and Intel have a lot of revenue potential if they can get market share in the TV space, and Sony could earn a competitive edge via a partnership with the big-G. Over the last number of years, the HDTV landscape has become highly competitive and Sony has seen its foothold slip, so a partnership that offers a new technology may help drive consumers to the Sony brand.

So what’s the big deal with this announcement? According to the NY Times, the three tech titans want to make it easier for TV users to use and navigate through Web-based applications such as Twitter, Picasa. Their goal is to make it as simple as changing the channel.

The TV sets will use Intel’s Atom chips and the platform will be built on Google’s Android operating system (the same one used in smartphones), and the code will be opened to developers and software engineers. The move is strategic in an effort to have third-parties assist in growing and developing the platform (the same way App developers have helped fuel the demand for Apple’s iPhone or iPod).

There are no details on release dates, but software and some products may surface as early as this summer, reports indicate. Peripheral maker Logitech is reported to make a remote with a small keyboard.

The Times report cites anonymous sources who indicate the partnership has been in the works for months. Nobody has spoken publicly yet, as details are still being negotiated.

[Via NY Times]