BM: Now the viewer's in charge

An IBM online survey of consumer digital media habits shows audiences are more in control than ever and increasingly filtering marketing messages. The global findings suggest time spent on personal Internet use rivals TV time. Among respondents, 19 per cent stated spending six hours or more per day on personal Internet usage, versus nine per cent of respondents who reported the same levels of TV viewing. 66 per cent reported viewing between one to four hours of TV per day, versus 60 per cent who reported the same levels of personal Internet usage.

To effectively respond to this power shift, IBM sees advertising agencies going beyond traditional creative roles to become brokers of consumer insights; cable companies evolving to home media portals; and broadcasters and publishers racing toward new media formats. Marketers in turn are being forced to experiment and make advertising more compelling.

“Consumers are demonstrating their desire for both wired and wireless access to content: an average of 81 percent of consumers surveyed globally indicated they’ve watched or want to watch PC video, and an average of 42 per cent indicated they’ve watched or want to watch mobile video,” said Bill Battino, Communications Sector managing partner, IBM Global Business Services. “Given the rising power of individuals and communities, media and entertainment industry players will have to become much better at providing permission-based advertising and related consumer-driven ratings services.”

The steady growth of consumer adoption of digital music, video, and other entertainment services, show households are no longer “one size fits all,” and content providers and marketers must follow suit. Twenty-three per cent of respondents reported using a portable music service; seven percent reported having a video content subscription for their mobile phones; 11 per cent reported a PC-based music service; and 18 per cent reported an online newspaper subscription.

Saul Berman, IBM Media & Entertainment Strategy and Change practice leader said, “The Internet is becoming consumers’ primary entertainment source. The TV is increasingly taking a back seat to the cell phone and the personal computer among consumers age 18 to 34. Just as traditional land lines have been replaced with mobile communications, cable and satellite TV subscriptions risk a similar fate of being replaced as the primary source of content access.”

The IBM Institute for Business Value survey of more than 2,400 households in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Australia covered global usage and adoption of new multimedia devices and media and entertainment consumption on PCs, mobile phones, portable media players and more.

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