Latest Nielsen Three Screen Media Research Report

Media Research 001
Nielsen Research recently released their Three Screen (TV, PC, Mobile) Media Research Report for 1Q2010.

Some surprises and some yawners.

"In the past year, Americans have significantly increased the amount of timeshifted TV they watch and decreased their PC-based internet usage, according to Nielsen’s Q1 2010 Three Screens Report."

You can read a summary and download the full report here.  Some additional highlights -

  —292 million people in the US own at least one TV.
  —More than half of US TV households now have HDTV, up 189% from Q1 2008.
  —High-speed broadband internet access is in 63.5% of homes.
  —Nearly 25% of homes have smartphones.
  —Fifty-five percent of mobile video viewers are adults 25-49.
  —The average monthly time spent simultaneously watching TV and using the internet increased 9.8% year-over-year in Q1 2010 to three hours and 41 minutes.

In related research, the Pew Research Center reports that in the past year 52% of U.S. adults, and 69% of U.S. adult internet users, have used the Internet to watch or download video.  More on that research here.

An Old Hero and a New One

Wooden This week past for me was one of losing one hero and quite unexpectedly finding a new one.

Coach John Wooden’s feat of ten national championships stretched from my seventh grade efforts to walk and chew gum at the same time well into graduate school.  Many of those years through high school I played ball under a streetlight at the south dead end of Fifth Avenue in New Brighton, PA.  In the winter we’d bring our snow shovels to clear the street, though the slick spots made a jump stop an amusing spectacle.

I grew to love and admire the UCLA Bruins and while marveling at their accomplishments I wondered how they managed to maintain such a high level of play over such an extended period of time.  John Wooden was indeed a remarkable coach and teacher, but first he was a man of character…a fierce competitor but always under control.  For someone I never met, he had a most profound influence on my life. My love of the game of basketball and my tendency to apply its lessons to most of life is probably his fault.  He was a man of grace in victory or defeat, and I’ll always be grateful to him for his example.  He died last Friday at age 99.

Some 48 hours before Coach Wooden’s passing, another drama was unfolding in Detroit that would bring me to the edge of tears, much as would the news of this great coach’s death.

The runner was out.  The game was over. We all saw it.  Over and over.  From every angle. Out. Out. Out.

Galarraga In what will likely be remembered as one of the most unfair moments in sports history, the veteran umpire at first base called him safe, snuffing out one of the rarest accomplishments in all of sports – the perfect game.  Armando Galarraga was the victim, and while that is a word I rarely allow myself to use, if it is to ever be used in the arena of sports, this would certainly be that occasion. 

But it was not the blown call at first base that brought the mist into my eyes, but the amazing grace displayed by Armando Galarraga in the wake of a sudden, massive, and universally unfair disappointment.  While the rest of us yelled and screamed and possibly cursed the umpire, Galarraga smiled, kept his composure, went back to the mound and got the final out.  What a display of grace in a moment when he was robbed of a place in baseball history not only by losing his bid for a perfect game, but also losing out on several other firsts in the record books.

It didn’t end there.  Being interviewed after the game by voracious reporters Armando smiled and said, “We’re human, we all make mistakes.”  What?  Are you kidding me?  What kind of response is that when you have clearly been shafted with all of sports America witnessing and decrying the unfairness of the umpire’s call.  And then there was umpire Jim Joyce who seeing the replay after the game sought out Galarraga to apologize for blowing the call and costing the young Venezuelan his place in baseball history. 

090 The following day Joyce would draw home plate duties, and rather than one of the managers or coaches taking the starting lineup out to the home ump, Galarraga asked for the duty.  Joyce once again apologized and when Galarraga gave him a respectful pat on the shoulder, the gracious umpire wiped his eyes, once again overwhelmed by the character displayed by this young competitor from South America, and gratefully returned the respectful gesture.

With the mess in the Gulf, in Washington, and on Wall Street it was good to be reminded of those who remain big when smallness is so prevalent.

Goodbye Coach Wooden. 

Hello Armando Galarraga.

And thanks to you both.

PS. And to umpire Jim Joyce a grateful "Well done" also.

Inside Online Video Advertising

Online-ad-v-tv While online advertising fell overall in 2009, ad spend on online videos grew 41%.

And, with good reason.  Nielsen Research has recently released a report based on 14,000 surveys to measure the impact of video advertising online vs. video advertising on television. 

The patterns they uncovered were consistent:  video ads run during online full-episode TV programs yield deeper brand impact than corresponding on-air TV ads, with the difference most pronounced among younger viewers age 13-34.

"What accounts for this variation in impact between online video and traditional TV? Data shows that web video viewers are more engaged and attentive to the programs they are watching, which is likely a function of the viewing environment and the oft-required active mouse-clicking to initiate and continue content. Online video is also still a relative novelty compared to traditional forms of media.  Further, and most significantly, reduced ad clutter and the inability to easily skip ads are considerable recall-enhancing factors."

Another conclusion - "online video ads help to reinforce and strengthen the impact of a traditional TV campaign."

More data and analysis here.

Nielsen/Facebook Report: The Value of Social Media Ad Impressions

Ads-w-advocacy Here's an interesting summary of a study conducted jointly by Nielsen and Facebook to determine the effectiveness of different strategies in FB ads.

"Study after study has shown that consumers trust their friends and peers more than anyone else when it comes to making a purchase decision. It’s critical that we understand advertising not just in terms of “paid” media, but also in terms of how “earned” media (advertising that is passed along or shared among to friends and beyond) and social advocacy contribute to campaigns. To that end, we took a closer look at 14 Facebook ad campaigns that incorporated the “Become A Fan” engagement unit and sliced the effectiveness results three different ways, by each of the types of ads available on Facebook: 1) Lift from a standard “Homepage Ad”; 2) Lift from an ad that featured social context or “Homepage ads with Social Context”; and 3) Lift from “Organic Ads,” newsfeed stories that are sent to friends of users who engage with advertising on a brand."

If you're interested in keeping abreast of the latest in online advertising and its effectiveness, you should be intrigued by the results.  I wonder if there are any negative implications for a brand if users are offended by unwanted and intrusive ads on social media platforms such as Facebook?

Read the entire summary here.

Activity Addiction

090 Seth Godin had an excellent recent post about the addictive nature of email.

The Digital Age has had some benefits in productivity and communication.  However, focused blocks of time have been replaced by the concept of multi-tasking.  In fact, many job postings include the requirement that applicants “be able to multi-task.”

I’ve often gotten looks of disbelief when I state that I don’t believe there is any such beast as multi-tasking.  At any given moment, you are only actually doing one thing.  But we tend to take a behavior pattern that skips from task to task, sometimes devoting only seconds to each one before moving on in the pattern, and glorify it as the transcendent ability to multi-task.  We’ve adopted the “keeping all the balls up in the air” philosophy towards our work as though we have some ongoing duel with a constant force like gravity and to ‘win’ we must never let a ball touch the ground. Perhaps the next super heroes for Marvel should be Multi-Task Man and Multi-Task Woman?

Most people feel they are more productive when multi-tasking (I know there is no such thing, but the phrase has meaning in our acquired-attention-deficit culture).  Notice the word FEEL.  We’ve generally developed an emotional attachment with this approach to our work, and as such many of us have developed a behavior pattern that is somewhat addictive in nature.  In the same way past generations felt the need to answer the phone whenever it rang because it ‘might’ be important, today we wait for that familiar sound from our desktop, laptop, or cell phone that announces (in various formats) - “You’ve Got Mail!”

Oh the rush of joy we feel when that notification window rises from the bottom of our screen or we hear that special ring tone we’ve programmed for our email, Facebook, Twitter, etc., etc., etc..  Maybe this email will be good news?  Maybe this message will be something special?  Someone loves me...someone cares...they sent me an email.  I must stop everything to investigate the affirming life-changing message that surely awaits me.

PBS recently had a Frontline program, Digital Nation, that took a close look at our addiction to multi-tasking.  They went to MIT, no ignorant bunch, and tested students there.  All of the students believed they were more productive as they used their plethora of digital devices to multi-task.  But the research showed the opposite effect.  You can view the program here.

Essentially, we are losing our ability to focus for blocks of time and in so doing we are losing the creativity and productivity that can only be generated when we are focused.  We’re considering turning off our email clients, TweetDecks, and Facebook walls for blocks of time here at our offices so we can focus on important work and not be enslaved by that which seems urgent.

Of course, we are first going to all take a group 12-Step program to limit the traumatic effects of withdrawal symptoms and emotions.

I did close my email client so I could concentrate long enough to write this post.  Sorry if I did not respond to your email in real time.

PS. Phil Cooke recently did a poll at his blog on how many people had checked email while using a toilet or urinal. At last look over 60% had answered affirmatively.

Time Flies When You Are Having Fun... or Not

080 Today we are about 93% of the way through the first decade of this century.

It’s gone by pretty quickly, hasn’t it? 

Have you stopped to think about how quickly 2020 will be here?  Are you where you hoped to be in 2010?

This has been a decade of accelerating change and disruption. Will the next ten years be a decade of tranquility and serenity, or do you suspect that the forces of change will intensify and social and economic dislocations will multiply?

Think again about how quickly this first decade has passed and ponder for a moment how speedily 2020 will slip into our present instead of orbiting in our future.

Where do you want to be when 2020 is ushered in?  What can you do today to set those goals and take continual, persistent strokes toward them over the next ten years?

Why wait until December 31 to make New Year’s resolutions?  Why not begin today to build our goals and plans for the next ten years?  Perhaps we should create some New Decade resolutions between now and 12/31.