Hold that eulogy, TV’s not dead just yet

Knowledge Networks’ recent report on How People use Video Navigation confirms my comments in a prior post here that the best way people learn about new TV shows is by (drumroll, please…) watching TV! 

The funny thing is, people go online to watch something they already know about; they’re catching up on missed episodes of their favorite TV shows.  And the majority of people learn about new shows by – you guessed it – watching TV!  Usually those tune-in promos (aka commercials) are related demographically to the show you’re watching.  Since the spots are for related TV shows while you’re watching TV, they’re much more relevant to the viewer and much more likely to be watched than the run-of-the-mill paid ad.

Definitely not rocket science going on here.  Some interesting takeaways from Knowledge Network’s report:

  • What we in the TV network industry call tune-in ads are by far are the most effecting in driving both TV and online video viewing
  • Next comes word-of-mouth for again both TV and online video viewing
  • Falling in third are content “guides” – interactive program guides for regular TV viewing, and content search and aggregator sites for online video viewing
  • Not too surprising, press and reviews on TV also drive a large share of TV viewing
  • Social media sites (friends/family/other) were generally the least effective

What does this mean for POTV (aka plain old TV)?  This plus the Nielsen data that 90% of  TV entertainment time is consumed through POTV and DVRs, 10% though online and mobile, TV’s not going anywhere in the foreseeable future.  The reason is is because the demographic spectrum of the 114.9 million TV households (per Nielsen) is hugely divergent and a bulk of those households are baby boomers (big POTV viewers). 

Will the 18-24 year old Gen Y’s change the game of  TV and online video viewing, and the associated current advertising as a monetization model?  Yes, most definitely.  Just not today or tomorrow.   The data is showing us that online viewing is here to stay and will continue to grow by leaps and bounds.  But how it will all work – who makes how much and for what and where you will see stuff – is still to be determined.  Until that’s settled, big entertainment-related money is just experimenting with online for now.  

Who’s going to win the hearts and minds of TV/video viewers?  Going back to my earlier point here, those TV networks & video content producers, and the advertisers that follow those eyeballs, that get-it early on and figure out the what, how, and whys of what I want to watch, when, and on what platform, will be the winners.

What scenarios do you think will help keep or kill POTV?

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