Survey Suggests Internet is Becoming Americans’ Primary Entertainment Medium
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Survey Suggests Internet is Becoming Americans’ Primary Entertainment Medium

A new online survey of consumer digital media and entertainment habits conducted by IBM suggests that audiences are more in control than ever and increasingly savvy about filtering marketing messages.

Paul Holmes

A new online survey of consumer digital media and entertainment habits conducted by IBM suggests that audiences are more in control than ever and increasingly savvy about filtering marketing messages.

The global findings indicate that personal Internet time rivals TV time. Among consumer respondents, 19 percent reported spending six hours or more per day on personal Internet usage, versus 9 percent of respondents who reported the same levels of TV viewing. Two-thirds (66 percent) reported viewing between one to four hours of TV per day, versus 60 percent who reported the same levels of personal Internet usage.

At the same time, consumers are seeking consolidated, trustworthy content, recognition and community when it comes to mobile and Internet entertainment. Armed with PC, mobile and interactive content and tools, consumers are seeking control of attention, content and creativity. Despite natural lags among marketers, advertising revenues will follow consumers’ habits.

To effectively respond to this power shift, IBM sees advertising agencies going beyond traditional creative roles to become brokers of consumer insights; cable companies evolving to home media portals; and broadcasters and publishers racing toward new media formats. Marketers in turn are being forced to experiment and make advertising more compelling, or risk being ignored.

“Consumers are demonstrating their desire for both wired and wireless access to content: an average of 81 percent of consumers surveyed globally indicated they’ve watched or want to watch PC video, and an average of 42 percent indicated they’ve watched or want to watch mobile video,” says Bill Battino, communications sector managing partner at IBM Global Business Services. “Given the rising power of individuals and communities, media and entertainment industry players will have to become much better at providing permission-based advertising and related consumer-driven ratings services.”

The steady growth of consumer adoption of digital music, video, and other entertainment services—though markets are still small by comparison to traditional media—show households are no longer “one size fits all,” and content providers and marketers must follow suit. 23 percent of respondents reported using a portable music service (such as iTunes); 7 percent reported having a video content subscription for their mobile phones; 11 percent reported a PC-based music service; and 18 percent reported an online newspaper subscription.

Saul Berman, IBM media and entertainment strategy and change practice leader, says, “The Internet is becoming consumers’ primary entertainment source. The TV is increasingly taking a back seat to the cell phone and the personal computer among consumers age 18 to 34. Just as the ‘Kool Kids’ and ‘Gadgetiers’ have replaced traditional land-lines with mobile communications, cable and satellite TV subscriptions risk a similar fate of being replaced as the primary source of content access.”

Consumers around the world are increasingly contributing to online video or social networking sites: 9 percent of German and 7 percent of U.S. respondents claim to have contributed to a user-generated content site; 26 percent of U.S. respondents reported contributing to a social networking site. While the numbers were slightly less from other countries like the UK (20 percent) and Japan (9 percent), they are also significant. Australia topped all countries surveyed with 36 percent contributing to social networking sites and nine percent contributing to video content sites.


 

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