Tuesday, January 11, 2011

TV Land

Three years ago some people laughed when I said TV would remain the dominant medium for our lifetime ... and would continue to grow. Yet continue to grow it does – TV is unstoppable in the Screen Age.

AdAge’s recent study of media trends indicates that despite the Internet we’re watching more TV, not less. The average American watched 280 minutes of TV each day in 2009 (close to five hours), a three-minute increase on the previous year. Elsewhere in the world the trend is similar, with the average human being watching three hours and 12 minutes worth of TV a day. Yes to games, social media, instant messaging and geo-tagging and all the other things that we’re doing, the big kahuna in the room is the television set.

As noted last year, the big change has been in what we’re watching on TV. Audiences in developed countries are becoming more and more fragmented as new TV channels and programmes proliferate and garner new niche audiences. At the same time, AdAge confirms that there are still programmes that have mass appeal – the likes of American Idol and its counterparts around the globe. Arguably the difference now is that these programmes just have to be that much better than their predecessors to achieve that mass.

Whatever channel you watch, or how, it’s clear that the television mix of sight, sound and motion wrapped in the ancient and magical art of storytelling, is still the modern thing. Here’s to TV scriptwriters, programmers, format developers and producers for keeping us engaged and often enthralled.


Bajaj said...

Hi Kevin,
Although I agree with you that TV remains a dominant force in the entertainment industry but it cannot be undermined that a large propotion of it has also shifted to internet. The current generation spends more time on youtube than on TV.
Maybe if we take that data also into account, the viewership of the popular shows and series would increase drastically.

Susan P. said...

Research is always an interesting beast. Forrester released research this year that suggested TV/Internet viewing times are essentially equal:


These days we often find two major research projects saying slightly different things and various media chose to report one over the other.

At the end of the day, you're right Kevin, it's the content of what we watch - and that draws our desire to watch - that's key.

Personally I watch very little TV. I watch a lot of DVD's on the TV. My friends watch TV eps on both TV sets and computers.

I haven't seen how these companies have asked their research questions but I'd be interested to know if they did take into account TV viewing via the internet.