Data about media consumption is useful to anyone thinking about applications of new technology. For example, the recent A.C. Nielsen Three Screen Report holds findings that temper the hype over Internet-delivered content.
The no-registration part of the report asks: “Are we watching less TV now that we have more screens?” The answer: “No! We are watching more than ever before.”
I found this data while reading a post from Ad Age, which referenced comments by The Ad Contrarian. The Contrarian notes that TV viewing rose by two hours compared to the same quarter of 2009, while video watched on the Internet grew by 11 minutes. Mobile viewing of video constituted increase by more than 50%, but represents only about 0.2% of total video watched. Like the Contrarian, I was surprised to see Nielsen draw two key conclusions around the growth of mobile viewing, even though the real time spent on this application was negligible.
There’s been a lot written about the “death of TV,” but the Nielsen data indicates that these reports may be exaggerated. I think the release of easy-to-Internet-connect TVs (coming this fall) will combine with the many variations of OTT (Over-The-Top) video to dramatically alter a lot of mainstream viewing habits. But the key here is that people will still be watching TV on large screens. Mobile screens are great for always on information delivery and exchange. But for entertainment, whether enjoyed alone or with friends and family, the large screen will rule.