Nielsen Study: Can TV and the Internet both survive?

Admit it! You have had music playing, with the TV on, as you are surfing the web, responding to an email, while writing a blog, and sending out one more tweet, as you pick up your cell phone… right?  OK, so maybe not THAT extreme, but the digital age has put us in a unique position to multi-task the globe’s information from your desk-top.

The entertainment pie use to be split up into just a few newspapers, magazines, a local silent movie and a maybe radio show. Several decades later, a dozen TV channels were added, splitting up the pie into smaller pieces. Eventually those dozen channels became hundreds. The gaming industry exploded; the internet grew momentum, mobile devices, social media, and the list goes on. Now it is all meshed together into a consumer’s dream. 

What the consumer wants, when they want, where they want, how they want. The consumer is in control and the content producers are trying to figure out how to best reach them, how to monetize the entertainment and how to survive.

Does the consumer of entertainment go to TV or the Web more? Or both? Survey Says!
We discuss topics precisely as this one at the weekly #entsm tweetchat – http://pitch.pe/21628 

This recent study takes a look at this very issue.
Thanks Nielson, thanks Alex Dobuzinskis.

Viewers hunger for Web and TV at same time: study

Wed Sep 2, 2009 7:19pm EDT

By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – U.S. television viewers are increasingly turning on the Web, tuning into television and not missing a beat on either, as simultaneous TV and Internet use continues to rise, research firm Nielsen said on Wednesday.

Nielsen said in a report that 57 percent of TV viewers in the U.S. who have Internet access use both mediums at the same time at least once a month. That translates to more than 128 million U.S. consumers.

As the heightened importance of the Web changes the way Americans watch TV, industry executives and marketers are considering ways to adjust their broadcast shows and play into viewers’ simultaneous use of the Internet.

“What we’re finding is that there’s a connection between the two media, and that innovative marketers can take advantage of that,” said Gary Holmes, a spokesman for Nielsen.

“One medium can be used to reinforce the other,” he said.

Broadcasters can expect some viewers will turn to the Web to learn more about their shows, but they have to be wary of losing the attention of their viewers.

The Nielsen study found the average TV viewer who uses the Internet simultaneously does that for 2 hours and 40 minutes a month, and that 28 percent of the time they are on the Web at home, they are also watching television.

The percentage of time U.S. consumers watch TV and use the Internet simultaneously is about the same as a similar Nielsen study from last year, but the total number of individuals doing that rose because more of them have the Web, Holmes said.

The report also found TV consumption in the United States continues to increase, with the average viewer watching 141 hours per month, a 1.5 percent rise from a year ago.

Holmes said even as viewership of videos on the Internet and on mobile phones increases, Americans still prefer to watch video on their television, as shown by how many more hours they spend in front of the tube.

“The possibility of watching (video) anyplace has really increased dramatically, but really the rule of thumb is that you watch it on the best screen,” he said.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)