It’s not surprising that today’s generation on an average is spending five hours and 16 minutes in front of a screen, but the startling element involved with this fact is that this span of time is spent without even switching on the television sets. These statistics were deduced by eMarketer, a social media research and analysis firm some time back which pointed out the increased devotion of the folks to smartphones, laptops and tablets each day. Hence, these figures clearly illustrate that in recent times there has been a drastic change in the definition of what counts as TV-watching!
With the launch of plethora of new devices and platforms, people are now actually indulged in watching more television programs than they used to some years back. The main reason for this changing trend has been the availability of the traditional cable TV online on mobiles and tablets either for free or in lieu of some bucks. Furthermore, the emergence of new television-related applications and technologies like multiscreen viewing and social media interaction has completely changed the behavior towards television in today’s scenario.
But the rate of adoption of these newer modes of digital broadcasting has not been same for every segment of society as not everyone have been preferring OTT TV or an Internet Television and yet there exists a class of viewers who considers the old idiot box to be far better than other sources. According to a report published by Strategy analytics based on a survey of 6000 US and European viewers, the love of people for TV has not yet deteriorated but the ways in which they are consuming it has changed drastically in a variety of ways.
The various classes of TV viewers
The segment of traditional couch potatoes, which prefer the conventional mode of TV rather than the online/OTT services yet account for the biggest segment of TV viewers which is 33%, but there has been a significant downfall in their numbers when considering that this was the commonest mode of watching TV some years back. Along with this classic couched class, a related segment of TV viewers was also highlighted in the survey aliased as Couch Chatters who also like watching TV more on an average but are majorly involved in chatting with friends what’s there on TV. Rest this chunk of viewers are least engaged in any sort of emerging activity like social networking related to TV or watching it online, and they account for 12% of total viewers.
The second largest class identified was of TV OTTers, comprising of 26% of viewers who prefer going online to watch specific shows using the new devices like laptops, mobile or tablets rather than viewing them on the television, but this segment also avoids communication of these shows with friends or others like the couch potatoes. The remaining groups consisted of all multiscreeners which have been further subdivided into three more disparate groups – Moderate, Indifferent and Maniac multiscreeners. Moderate and Indifferent multiscreeners both account for 11% of total audience and engage in most online TV and social media behaviors around TV with the exception that moderates do not follow TV shows using Twitter whereas the Indifferents do so and the latter are more likely to use smartphones, tablets and PCs to watch TV content. The last segment and the smallest group is of the Maniac’s which account for 7% of viewers and they are most likely to use service provider like VOD and OTT, online TV or video services along with each Maniac claiming to follow TV shows using Twitter.
The television companies and advertisers missing on both couch segments while targeting Millennials
The television content firms and the advertisers which are targeting millenials for extending their realms to target groups who favor these emerging trends of viewing are being disguised by the segment of couch potatoes and couch chatters because a substantial 30% of these millennial constitute both these clusters. Hence the firms catering the social media platforms and online ad campaigns are surely missing these segments of viewers which primarily consist of the audience aged below 35.
On the whole, there has been a slight increase in the ratio of people favoring the emerging trends to the traditional viewing attributes in US and the European nations that is 11:9. These emergent traits which include the incorporation of the elements of the multiscreen or online viewing amalgamated with activities related to consumption and communication around television would definitely turn out to be the driving factors in shaping the future of television over the coming years.
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