Who's watching who?

July 31, 2012

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As consumer media habits have continued to evolve, one thing is apparent: Our appetite for consuming video isn’t going to decline anytime soon.

As video viewing on the Web is exploding, television viewing is continuing to evolve as well. In June, the Consumer Electronics Association published “The Evolving Video Landscape,” a survey of the video viewing habits of more than 1,000 U.S. adults. This study focuses on American video viewing habits including when they are watching, where they are watching and what devices they are using. Results were interesting.

First, the study found that most consumers (98%) continue to watch video at home. About two-thirds of home viewing is done on a television set. 44% watch on an HDTV unit while 18% still use an analog TV set. Laptop and desktop computers account for 30% of home viewing, with 8% going to smartphones and tablet computers.

Video viewing isn’t the only thing consumers do with their home-based TV. One-third (34%) use their TV to listen to music and nearly one-fourth (21%) use their TV to listen to talk radio. Other uses include Web surfing (14%) and accessing social media venues (14%).

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (63%) said they watch some type of Web-based video content and over one-third (38%) said they are watching more video on the Web than they did in 2011. Convenience seems to be a key reason for this, with the type of Web-based video content being accessed most often episodes of TV programming (42%) or movies (41%).

The combination of sight, sound and motion that video offers has always been a compelling way to teach, entertain and influence us. The fact that video is continuing to become more and more present in the lives of consumers means that marketers need to pay even closer attention to the messaging concept that underpins all of their video assets. Striking the right balance between brand messaging and execution details is the key to creating videos that have strong consumer engagement power.