Study: TV Is Still King

First abandoned flat screen TV I've seen
Image by mlinksva via Flickr

Study: TV Is Still King.

Nielsen and Ball State University‘s Center for Media Design and Sequent Partners for the Council for Research Excellence, just released a study, after spending $3.5 million, to tell us that TV is still King. It’s an interesting week to release this study, since the National Cable Television Association convention starts this week in Washington, D.C., which yours truly will be happily attending.

Now, given that Nielsen is a ratings company, of course their study is going to prove that. They’re in the business of TV measurement. However, as a Brand Marketer, I didn’t need Nielsen to tell me the obvious.

According to the study, the “biggest consumers of media are those in the 45-54 age group, dubbed the “digital boomer.” The digital boomer, which on average has a daily screen time of 9 1/2 hours, watches a lot of TV, but also spends a lot of time on the computer. Screen time for all other age groups, including the 18-24 and 25-34 age groups, is 8 1/2 hours.” 8 1/2 hours…Wow! That is an amazing amount of time to spend watching TV in a day.

What is of interest to myself and most marketers today, is the use of other screens in relation to the TV…Broadband, Mobile and even Gaming. It’s all integrated these days. TV, in my opinion, is for the brands who have the cash and can afford to invest in “branding”, is still a great medium (and I love the TiVo supported content as well). When I attended the Digital Hollywood Media Summit online, what was reiterated by ESPN’s Artie Bulgrin, head of Research, is that people still want the big screen experience. I really believe that.

But what’s great about Online and Mobile marketing, is that it is much more direct, measurable and less expensive. Even ESPN is taking alternative content, and syndicating it online. And in the case of the Cable TV networks & Cable Operators, the use of online marketing, specifically social media and mobile, can help drive tune-in to the programming. Using Social Media by building a fan base on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikis and Blogs is a great grassroots way to have a direct and interactive conversation with your viewers. Tapping into their passions for the programming, as well as having those fans tell their friends and so on, and so on, and so on, can only help to increase viewership. Promoting upcoming episodes, behind-the-scenes, special online only content etc…is prime for creating loyal viewers, as well as creating opportunities for Advertisers (and help supporting the up-sell of Broadband products as well). Take if even further to the iPhone app i.TV, and you’re really on a roll.

So, as much as I love TV, and I do (although I’m definitely not your 8 1/2 hour/day viewer) I still love my Big Love, In Treatment, Kathy Griffin on the D List, Seinfeld repeats, Damages, Iconoclasts, United States of Tara and CBS Sunday Morning (you can tell I’m a big Cable TV fan), I also love hearing from my favorite shows on Facebook. I like to know when they have a special guest, an online character chat or a fun game to play. I also want my broadband to work, be fast and show me all I can do around my favorite programing — but online. It’s easy, accessible and mobile. I love the convergence and integration of all media. I’ve been dreaming about this day.

So, my Cable TV friends, don’t worry, your customers won’t be casting their lovely 40″ screen out on to the sidewalks of America like everyone’s been telling you. But don’t rest on your laurels. Get out there and use Social Media to support your programming– because, it’s still very much about the ratings. You can breathe a bit easier now.

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