Mobile Ready for Primetime, But TV Still King
Echoing common refrain, researchers at B&C/Multichannel News event want data to monetize cross-platform content, viewership
By David Tanklefsky -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/24/2010 12:23:08 PM
"Mobile is really ready for primetime," said NBC Universal Research and Media Development President Alan Wurtzel during a panel discussion on programming, moderated by Multichannel News Editor-in-Chief Mark Robichaux.
Wurtzel used NBC's recent Olympics coverage as a research lab to look into how consumers are using media across multiple platforms.
"The Olympics is an extraordinary opportunity for us to do research," he said. "We've always used this to really try to get some insights."
Though Olympics viewership is not a completely accurate indicator of day-to-day viewing patterns, Wurtzel had a few key takeaways from his research. The growth of mobile usage has increased significantly, he said--70% of people using NBC's Olympic mobile WAP site had not accessed it during the Beijing Olympics just a year and a half ago. A spike in viewers using multiple screens at once was also evident--49% of people accessing Olympics-related content from a mobile device were also watching the games on TV, according to NBCU's research.
"Simultaneous cross-platform use is very normal," Wurtzel said.
But while all of the multiplatform possibilities once made researchers wonder if TV was becoming obsolete, the data shows the TV screen is still by far the most-watched medium. While Robichaux cited a survey showing a 35% annual increase in hours spent watching video on the Internet, TV still accounts for 97% of all video viewing.
"TV still remains the king," Wurtzel said, adding that mobile and Internet content was about "complimenting and supplementing" TV.
The key for networks and operators is to get value for the content, wherever it is being watched.
"What we see here is an evolution," said Nora Ryan, strategic advisor at Epix, the multiplatform movie channel designed for cross-platform viewing. "We're seeing a new opportunity to reach the next generation of television viewers."
Rentrak Chief Research Operator Bruce Goerlich agreed with Wurtzel that simultaneous viewing of the Olympics was a "harbinger" of increased multi-screen viewing. "Our brains and wiring have changed," Goerlich said, referring to the pace that television runs and the viewers ability to process information. But, voicing a common refrain, Goerlich said the only way to monetize the new media viewing experience is with adaptable metrics.
Wurtzel said generating data from one person's multiplatform viewing is a valuable breakdown for advertisers, but added, "To try to measure the volume of these three platforms [TV, Internet and mobile] is very daunting."
Still, the days of measuring ratings from a set-top box, much like the days of only watching linear television, seem long gone. "Give me a break," Wurtzel said. "That is so over."
Great but did NBC or any station make dollar one from mobile , these articles are self serving and still no one has a ROI for mobile?
Let's not get ready to throw out all the big HD screens just yet and watch sports on 2 inch screen! Nice feature but not a business yet?
Chip Harwood - 3/24/2010 5:22:50 PM EDT
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