Study: TV Is Still King


For all the fuss over new media, the old-fashioned TV is still by far the most popular medium for all consumers, both young and old. In fact, on average, consumers spend only about two minutes a day watching free TV via the Internet and not even a full minute watching mobile video.

The findings, released Thursday (March 26) in New York during a two-hour presentation, are from a landmark consumer study conducted by Ball State University's Center for Media Design and Sequent Partners for the Council for Research Excellence. Backed by Nielsen, which spent $3.5 million on the study, the CRE was founded four years ago to help guide measurement priorities for Nielsen.

Contrary to popular belief, younger consumers are not the biggest consumers of media. The biggest consumers of media are those in the 45-54 age group, dubbed the "digital boomer." The digital boomer, which on average has a daily screen time of 9 1/2 hours, watches a lot of TV, but also spends a lot of time on the computer. Screen time for all other age groups, including the 18-24 and 25-34 age groups, is 8 1/2 hours.

"Technology has been changing so rapidly. Increasingly, our clients are frightened by the onset of the DVR. There's been talk that the 30-second spot is dead and that young people don't watch TV any more," said Shari Anne Brill, chairperson of CRE's media consumption and engagement committee and senior vp, director of programming for Carat. "We wanted to verify or dispel those myths."

The CRE decided that the only way to objectively find out how people consume media throughout the day was to use a consumer-centric approach that was truly media neutral.

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