The Sprint ad shows how you can watch your favorite football game on your mobile phone anywhere. But did you notice that the ad is on TV? That should tell you something about the state of video across the 3 screens today.
Many marketers are asking themselves the same questions: Is TV dying? Should I allocate more of my spending to the web? And what about mobile? Marketers are faced with more questions than ever when it comes to communicating their core brand promise via video as the media landscape becomes vastly more complex and continues to evolve and change on almost a daily basis.
These are basic questions that are often debated without a full understanding of what is really happening in the media landscape. Facts are often relegated to the Marketing dustbin, and hype and hyperbole reign supreme. And some of the facts are, well, somewhat surprising.
3 Video Mediums – The Facts
Let’s start with some basic viewership information from Nielsen’s 3-Screen report:
- TV: Still Dominant – Consumers still love it. Despite the tremendous growth in on-line and mobile usage, TV viewership continues to grow. In Q1 2008-09, the average TV viewer watched 8.5 hours per day, versus 7.4 in 2001-02. TV viewership was up +15% over this time. It’s true that the traditional big networks are losing viewers, but this is more than compensated for by growth in cable, etc.
- Web: Emerging – Consumer usage of the web has increased substantially, accounting for 29 hours per month in Q1 2009, or about 19% of TV, driven by the increased penetration of broad-band and an ever expanding set of applications – e.g. search, social networking, etc. Despite this growth, video usage on the web is still relatively small, especially compared to TV. In Q1 2009, the average consumer watched only 3 hours of video per month on the web, or only 2% of the time spent watching TV.
- Mobile: Nascent – Average viewership of video on Mobile is also small, with the average viewer watching just 3.4 hours of video per month in Q1 2009. Mobile is clearly at the very, very early stages of development for video, and the Marketing model(s) that will emerge is still anyone’s guess.
There’s no question that the use of video on the web and mobile will continue to grow and that new, interactive applications will enable all kinds of interesting new Marketing applications. Having said this, we are still far away from a world where mass appeal brands should be walking away from TV. TV still accounts for a dominant 96% of video viewing across the 3 screens. So, how should Marketers think about this evolving media landscape ?
3 Questions Your Brand Needs To Ask
- What is my Target Audience Media Consumption ? – The first question to ask is about your brand’s target audience. What media are they consuming ? Do they skew more to web and/or mobile than the average population? Data shows that younger consumers are consuming more video on the web and mobile, so understanding your target’s media consumption is important.
- Which Medium is Most Effective for My Brand ? – New measurement tools enable Marketers to answer important cross-media channel questions that were previously un-answerable. Is my advertising more effective on TV or the web ? And what about the combination — do consumers react even more favorably if they see my ads in both places ? Some early research suggests that, for some brands, the same advertising is often more effective on the web – a “lean forward” medium, than TV – a “lean back” medium.
- Which Programs Are Most Engaging ? – Within a given medium, which programs are most engaging to consumers ? As I noted in an earlier blog post “What Your Brand Should Know About TV Program Engagement,” consumer involvement with programs varies tremendously, and program engagement is highly correlated with ad recall. Stated simply, the environment or context really matters.
Of course, don’t even think about the 3 screen questions without having a clear and compelling brand promise, and outstanding creative to go along with it. This is the jumping off point, and the jump still looks a lot like traditional TV. Answering the 3 questions above will help ensure that when you jump, you jump with your eyes open. Things are getting a lot more interesting across the 3 screens, but let’s not count TV out just yet. What do you think ?