We've certainly seen our fair sharing of hemming and hawing about the new Nielsen study, which declared that 99% of video viewing happened on a television set. Long live TV, peeps.
So a few points:
SEVEN - Is this really so shocking, anyway? How much video do you watch online? It's easy for me to hook the mac to the hdtv and watch hulu on the big screen, but I still don't do it all that often - and I never did it pre-mac because it's damn near impossible on the pc. And why would I watch long-form content on my computer if I can watch it on TV - AND play on my computer at the same time?
THREE - While TV viewing is increasing, so is everything else. The younger you get, the more you "multi-task." And multi-tasking seems to mean not necessarily focusing on multiple things, but many things, one at a time. So if you watch TV, then text or play on your computer during the ad breaks, obviously the ad becomes that much less effective. And frankly, so does the stuff between the ads.
FOUR – The sample size is 300 people. Just something to keep in mind.
But I would consider the shuffling over this to be a symptom of the same old advertising myopia. Our success doesn't depend on the watching part alone, and what happens after the ad is just as important as whether or not they see it (or pay attention to it) at all.
And while we may be watching more TV than we were 15 years ago, the action we take after the ad is vastly different. We don't just go to the store, we go to google. We go to amazon. We comparison shop and ask our friends, far more easily than we could just a couple years ago.
Cheering a couple television studies is in many ways beside the point. No, television isn't dead. Nor is the TV ad - but our ability to use it in a vacuum is at least taking its last breaths. Just like the ability of a bad movie to make it past the first weekend by avoiding reviews. Or Microsoft's ability to sell a just okay music player by spending 100 million dollars.
TV didn't die, but the absoluteness of Television did. So before you go back to thinking everything is okay, you may want to consider that it's never been about the medium, but the people. And they have changed.
(pic via emilyyday)
UPDATE: I immediately went from writing this to feeling like we've had this argument so many times that I immediately wanted to rip this post down. But that would probably void some sort of bloggy social contract. So - yeah - my apologies and all that.