Compared to radio, television has a significant advantage in assessing digital threats. There is a lot more money in television and other forms of video, so there’s a nearly continuous stream of research being done on what Nielsen calls the three screen world (televisions, computers, and smartphones).
In contrast, research on digital threats to radio is spotty and generally limited in scope. If the NAB or RAB had a clue, they might fill the void, but don’t hold your breath.
Fortunately, the television research provides a useful reality check, allowing us to compare the new-media hype to what’s really going on. A new study from Horowitz Associates illustrates our point beautifully.
As reported by MediaPost, a grand total of 2% of television viewing is done away from the television. Out of the 130 hours people watch video, less than three hours is spent viewing it on a computer or handheld device.
The headlines always emphasize the percentage of people using new-media, but to put things into proper perspective, we think a better headline is 98% of television viewing is done the old fashion way: on a television!
Would you have guessed that based on all the hype surrounding YouTube, Hulu, and portable video?
The other significant finding of the study was that those who use a PC or handheld device to watch video actually watch more video. While the average video viewing is 130 hours, those who use a PC watch 139 hours, and those who use a handheld device watch 143 hours.
As we noted here, Nielsen reported the same thing earlier this year. Media consumption is not a zero sum game. As options to consume media increase, so does consumption.
No similar studies have been done on radio, but the evidence suggests that something similar is happening with radio listening. Use of new audio sources is increasing while reach and TSL for traditional radio seems to be holding steady.
Radio’s Chicken Littles are convinced that new alternatives are hurting radio listening, but here is one more study that explains why this isn’t the case.