Jim Long - Digital Media and Culture

IBM Study: “Decline of TV as Primary Media Device”

Uh oh!Buzzmachine’s Jeff Jarvis yesterday detailed a very compelling IBM study on TV and internet use. The complete study results are available for download here. For folks like me, currently a foot soldier of traditional TV, his post header – “TV Explodes” – merely fuels our worst fears and suspicions. (I wish he’d stop saying “explodes” though!) Quietly, and off the record, my sources tell me high level executives at a certain network have been heard saying “TV is dead.. the future is the internet”. Parts of the IBM study seems to buoy that belief, and outline several key shifts in how we are consuming, creating and particpating in media. Some of the results are promising for Television though, so don’t count us out just yet. The survey is very informative and I’d encourage readers to download the entire study.

Consumers are seeking consolidated, trustworthy content, recognition and community when it comes to mobile and Internet entertainment. Armed with PC, mobile and interactive content and tools, consumers are vying for control of attention, content and creativity. Despite natural lags among marketers, advertising revenues will follow consumers’ habits.

  • To increase usage of new channels, consumers ask for consolidated content and thoughtful recommendations.
  • Users reported significant incidence of user contribution and interactivity.
  • For those respondents who contributed content online, they did so for recognition and community.

Consumers are increasingly contributing to online video or social networking sites: nine percent of German and seven percent of U.S. respondents claim to have contributed to a user-generated content site; 26 percent of U.S. respondents reported contributing to a social networking site.

Looks like a lot of people want to be more involved in, or have a stake in their content. Folks are looking for dialogue and community, not just content. Sab Kanaujia, NBC’s VP for Digital Product Strategy, recently participated in an online Wall Street Journal discussion with Revver chariman and founder Steven Starr entitled “Is Web Video a Threat to TV?” and posted excerpts on his blog. There’s interesting back and forth between Kanaujia and Starr and it’s worth checking out.

To me, that isn’t the question. The question is: “Is online activity a threat to TV?” Clearly the answer is yes. I left a comment on his blog, which has yet to clear moderation, which essentially pointed out that smart media makers are creating content, conversation, and community online. Video alone isn’t enough, it’s simply the icing on the cake.Of note to me in this study was the question: “What would increase your use of mobile and Internet entertainment?” to which 21% answered “Niche site that specialized in genre or category content” (IBM Study). So as I continue to operate from the unique perch at the intersection of old and new media, I’m both buoyed and concerned by these revelations (or merely statistical support for what many of us have suspected for some time). Many of these findings spell the end of many a television career, but at the same time, create huge opportunities for those who can capitalize on it. This is the time to strike.

  • http://www.marialanger.com Maria

    It’s unfortunate that the Internet is gaining ground and pushing traditional television down. Television execs are scrambling to make television more like the Internet in an effort to keep viewers. The result: television is dropping down to the level of the Internet. And that can be a low level, indeed.

    I’m not a big TV viewer, but the one thing I rely on television for is profession production. Stories that are well researched, well photographed, well written, well documented. Stories that present all the facts with just enough interpretation to let an intelligent person think about the story and make his/her own conclusions. I guess that’s why I watch a lot of PBS and listen to NPR. They tend to leave the flashy graphics and sound effects out to make room for solid content. (What the hell is going on with CNN and that ridiculous “situation room,” anyway?)

    But Internet “reporters” have no responsibility and far too many of them lack the professionalism necessary to provide quality content. As a result, we get a lot of schlock online. Sadly, that seems to be what people want — how else can “reality” TV survive and YouTube thrive?

    I’ve heard a lot about the book “The Cult of the Amateur: How today’s Internet is killing our culture” by Andrew Keen and one of my publishers recommended that I read it. (Unfortunately, I’ve also seen/heard Keen on air three times recently and he comes off as a real jerk, so I’m not very motivated to buy his book or read what he’s written.) I have a feeling I’m going to agree with much of what he has to say: that relying on amateurs for news and information is a big mistake.

    So although I never thought I’d say it, I hope TV isn’t dying. And not just so Jim can keep his job.

  • http://www.truegritz.com/ Pauline Ashley-Wilkes

    Yep, there’s a TrueGritz world just a’waitin’ to explode. Hold on to your wig!

  • Pingback: Verge New Media()

  • Pingback: primary decline: Web Search Results from Answers.com()

  • Pingback: Concrete evidence of government info ops against us, but it’s OK because we are sheep « Fabius Maximus()

Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE