Accenture published a study on TV consumption habits worth looking into if you’re interested in the future of media consumption (and therefore by proxy, advertising).
Stats worth noting:
- Viewing of all content – on TV or otherwise – is at an all time high and growing across all platforms. 74% of respondents said they would also enjoy viewing content on other devices besides the TV.
- Media consumption is increasingly fragmented. 40% watch six or more television channels.
- Content loyalty is strong; 73% follow a favorite show from channel-to-channel (as when re-runs are rebroadcast elsewhere).
- People are willing to pay for great content: 49% of all respondents, and 60% of those younger than 25.
What’s the point of talking about “media fragmentation”?
When media is paid for by advertisers rather than consumers, the advertisers need their ads to create a certain number of impressions to justify spending the money.
If less people watch any given piece of content (and simultaneously other forms of advertising become more attractive… cough digital advertising), the question becomes: who will pay for this?
What do I think is going to happen?
As we continue to have more and more choices for the media we consume, the return on investment for producing a great piece of content will diminish.
It will be too hard to get the level of distribution (and corresponding advertisement revenue) that justifies making something expensive and distributing it for free.
Media will largely split into two camps:
1. low quality / freely distributed;
2. high quality / behind a pay wall.
We see this already; the reality TV craze is in the first camp, while HBO-series like The Sopranos are in the second camp.
In the future, as media continues to fragment and grow, I think we’ll see an increased divide between the two. The inexpensive content will have fewer and fewer viewers, and have to drop quality accordingly. But the paid content will also have fewer and fewer viewers, and have to increase price accordingly (or become less awesome).
The Accenture Broadcast Consumer Survey 2009 is based on a detailed online survey of nearly 14,000 consumers across 13 countries: Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Each country represented in the survey had at least 1,000 respondents, each of whom was at least 18 years of age. The survey was conducted in January and February 2009.