The connected viewer is here

PEW research institute released a new report on media habits of american customers.  Again this report gives great insights on how today’s people are using their connection/cell phones during their media consumption. More than 50% of today’s television viewers use their mobile device while watching a television show. Instead of bullying media distributors (like Telenet or Belgacom in Belgium) media producers (like television stations) should rethink their business model to connect with this connected viewer….it’s the viewer who’s changing habits, not the media distributors (something for Christian Van Thillo – a Belgian media icon – to think about).
But was does this connected viewer do while he’s watching television?

The PEW research report states:

  • 38% of cell owners used their phone to keep themselves occupied during commercials or breaks in something they were watching
  • 23% used their phone to exchange text messages with someone else who was watching the same program in a different location
  • 22% used their phone to check whether something they heard on television was true
  • 20% used their phone to visit a website that was mentioned on television
  • 11% used their phone to see what other people were saying online about a program they were watching, and 11% posted their own comments online about a program they were watching using their mobile phone
  • 6% used their phone to vote for a reality show contestant

Today media users definitely don’t want to be bothered with commercials….so rethinking traditional advertising is still priority number one for brands, and media producers.  (And traditional measurements on traditional advertising reach on television probably aren’t trustworthy anymore.) A second challenge is getting a connection going with their viewers….why not create  (digital) platforms which serve the connection and brings the viewers in close contact with the media company? Connection is the future….and through this connection you’ll probably get nice insights on your viewers which can generate the extra dollar/euro. (But then again connection isn’ voting!!!!!!!! – please remember this media producers.)
Zeebox probably is a good example on what’s possible with the connected viewer.  Maybe this soon will break in continental Europe….let’s hope!

Just who is this connected viewer? Well according to the research sample this is the demographic outcome:

Source: Pew Research Report “The Rise of the connected viewer” – 17/7/2012

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Posted in Flat Business, Flat Lifestyle
10 comments on “The connected viewer is here
  1. Helsen Jonas says:

    I think that this habit can open a whole new world in Belgian television. However, some programms are allready using interaction with the viewer, but not with the cellphone/smartsphone ( I’m thinking about the ‘red button’ with digital tv). I recognize the habit of using my smartphone watching tv, especially during the commercials. It is upto the broadcastcompanies to decide whether they want to focus on their commercials OR interaction using mobile devices. When you’re participating with your Iphone, you simply can not pay attention to the on-going commercial. But is this a bad thing? We’re allready playing with our smartphone…

  2. M.Kux says:

    I was surprise when I saw what the customers do with their phone. There would be many potential for media. But in the same moment I thought the habits of customers are difficult to change.
    Furthermore a question popped up for me. Is this the first sign that this communication and entertainment channel want be survive in the next ten years?

  3. Alexander De Winter says:

    There are some opportunities but how are they going to do it? It’s not easy for a commercial channel to whip out the commercials because then they lose money and where are they going to get that money from? Also many people are going to watch television on their laptop or tablet because then its commercial free. So if they want to keep the viewers they need to change. Is there a chance that the commercial channels are going to vanish?

  4. I’m certainly a part of the 22% who used their phone to check whether something they heard on television was true or not. I don’t know why but for some reason i often get the feeling my television is lying to me or something and i often find myself on Wikipidia to check information i got from watching television.

    I also use my phone to text while i watch tv but not verry often to a person who is also watching the same program, usually i just use my phone separately from my televesion

  5. petervankeer says:

    I also use my iPhone, or sometimes even my laptop when watching tv or a movie. Why? I don’t really know.. Maybe it’s the “social pressure” for being online/available all the time.
    I don’t think it’s a good thing.. Sometimes I really miss good parts of a movie (yes, I can pause it, but, what when watching it with some friends?)

    Using your phone/tablet/laptop during the pause of a movie/show/… should be more interactive. Let customers ‘connect’ to a certain tvprogram and let them e.g. discuss about it.

  6. Mats Blankers says:

    Channel “Vier” in Belgium started with a new concept in Belgium during commercials. They made “de snelste kwis”, a quiz which you could play with your smartphone or tablet. You stayed tuned during the commercials, because you wanted to play the whole quiz. They where the first to invent such a thing for Belgium. Unfortunately there’s been an investigation by the VRM, because they think it’s against the law. In Belgium the law says that there has to be a real difference between a commercial and a program. Maybe it didn’t work, but why are we so conservative ?

  7. Nicholas Bellon says:

    Commercial breaks on television are oldschool. I think product placement is far more effective in being succesful. Media should respond to this digital development instead of staying old-fashioned analague. Making subtle subconscious advertisements on mobile devices something the media should think about more often.

  8. Yolanda Van Mechelen says:

    I wonder when TV stations will realize that commercial breaks only drive viewers away? Luckily, they seem to start understanding the need of using social media while broadcasting the programm, they give hashtags for people to communicate with it on social networks en they’re active there too. But I do hope that as well tv-stations as companies will realize that the classic marketing principals must be thrown out of the window, there’s a new network rising, use it to your advantage.

  9. I’m a big fan of the second challenge ; getting a connection going with the viewers. I think we can get creative here, we can create a digital platform where the customer can really interact with the company. More important is that it won’t be as dull as the oldskool commercials. We can let our smartphones sync with our television and get the adds that really interest us. Or makes us participate. But for me, my cellphone is really personal, i dont like advertising in any form on it.. Anyways i think we still have a big future in terms of advertising, it’s just weird seeing compagnies being so conservative.

  10. Hatem Louati says:

    I don’t like commercials in TV. I usually “play” with my smartphone during this time.

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