Thoughts on 3 Screen Report Q1 2010

Recently the 3 Screen Report by Nielsen was released. This covers mobile, internet, and television usage in the US. While this report is one that I follow it also gives a little insight into how we consume all media.

As with any report here are some interesting highlights and my thoughts on what they mean:

The amount of time watching TV is increasing. From 2009 to 2010 for Q1 users watched 2 more hours of TV. I believe the core of this is economic. With more disposable income people are tending to stay close to home more. They also are looking to be entertained with as little amount of discretionary income as possible. TV fits this niche perfectly. I do not think it is because of better programming.

Simultaneous watching of TV and the internet has grown by 9.8% year to year. That’s 3 hours and 41 minutes a month. Count me in here as I write this in the background is the military channel titled Hitler’s Last Deadly Secret. I see this trend to continue to grow as we move more towards a convergence of media.

Timeshifting. With a growth of 18% since last year to 94 million, the average user timeshifts content 9 hours and 36 minutes per month. What to me is always odd and has kept pretty steady was that on average, viewers watched 45% of commercials during timeshifted playback. I guess you could chop this up to just the ability to record a program but for me the major benefit of this technology is the ability to watch a hour show in 39 or so minutes.

Drivers of Video

Beyond TV, video is increasingly being consumed on “second” and “third” screens. With broadband access and wifi availability popping up this is something that I believe will slowly get to parity with TV. Over half (55%) of mobile video watchers are aged 25-49–not the teens as you would expect.

In the conclusion of the report they mention a few things to watch:

  • As smartphone penetration continues to proliferate, consumers will be increasingly using these devices (versus PCs) to access the Internet
  • With networks beginning to develop loyalty programs for their shows (via apps, etc.), social media will play a larger role in audience engagement
  • 3D televisions and content hitting the market may cause a change in viewing behaviors and programming demand for a small but important audience segment
  • The emergence of other connected devices, including tablet computers like Apple’s popular iPad, will create additional options for media consumption anytime, anywhere

I agree with the fist point. Ipad and better experience on Iphone 4 as well (even given the latest flap). I regularly watch movies on my Iphone and if I had an Ipad I think I would consume even more.

Loyalty programs to me is a very interesting concept. Think Foursquare for television shows. You verify or check in that you are watching Glee for instance. For this you get special offers or even special content. This could be a huge growth industry.

3D. I still think we are a few years away before 3D really catches on. First the Avatar experience was great, although only a few parts within the movie that I really saw the power of 3D. I’ve since watched a few movies in 3D and I felt a little let down. So I think this same element will play over in the in home environment as well.

I do believe we can find a channel for devices like the tablet. The Iphone leads the pack here and I hope for the sake of competition and content that other tablets catch on.

What Should You Do?

Create content. Create content and create content. Increasingly people are turning these screens into video displays. The more rich media experiences you can create for yourself or your company the better. Create content that hits to the core of your target market. Also understand the channel you are going after.

Think how you can change intent or the mind of the person on that particular platform.