The proliferation of the Internet has resulted in more choices than ever before. Viewers are in complete control of the media they consume, and they aren’t afraid to share the details of their experiences across social networks.
As TV surged in popularity in the 1970s, so did its influence on how people selected media content to watch. No longer limited to movie theatres, viewers could look forward to their favourite films being broadcasted on cable television.
The connected world is changing the way we live. In order to offer our clients accurate insights into what’s next, it’s crucial that we understand consumer needs and behaviours, and how they are impacted by digital technology.
Recently at the Nurun Lab, we’ve been studying TV and movie viewing rituals. Never before have we lived in a world with such a complex and diverse media landscape. We have so many more options in every regard – the content, the location, the platform, the time and with whom. Inevitably the obvious question arises: how does a viewer select media content to watch?
To clear up the mess we decided to take a look back at history – which always seems simpler – to compile three comparable consumer journey maps. Our first map delineates the main influences that led people to watch a movie, like Gone with the Wind (1939), in the 1930s.
Over the next week we will post the two subsequent journey maps to present the explosion of the influence of TV in the 1970s and the proliferation of the Internet in the 2010s.
Forget the Giants and the Patriots… Big screen TVs and mobile devices are going head-to-head at this year’s Super Bowl. This is also the first year that you can watch the game live online.
I finally got around to reading Jean Pascal Mathieu’s paper on Connected TV. In it he writes that the biggest problem with “nextgen” TV is making the experience seamless for the consumer. Some great thinking: waste less time hunting and pecking for content, stop juggling 19 remotes, eliminate the need for an engineering degree to get the World Cup on TV… all great.
Great. You just managed to make my life so much worse.
Why? Endless amounts of readily available content = huge time suck.
To understand this statement, you first need to get the weirdness that is I. I’m an anomaly (in a lot of ways), but particularly with my love/hate relationship with TV. Early in my career I had to make a financial choice between the Internet, cigarettes or cable… smoking and Altavista it was. Then in ’04 A-Rod got traded to my Yankees and I caved (just in time to see them blow a 3-0 lead to the Sox). Live sports are definitely the “killer app” for TV. After the season ended I was left with 300 channels of reality TV. Clearly this signaled the end of human intellect… I could actually feel myself getting dumber. I was out. Fast-forward to today and we have time shifting, place shifting, on-demand and multi-device viewing. It’s “back to the couch” as Mathieu says.
It’s a cornucopia of content. I’m tearing through it like its crack cocaine. Game on the tube, movie on Netflix and BBM going 100 miles/hr… I’m continuous partial attention disorder personified and I’m WAY behind…
My running to-do list: 3 seasons of Arrested development, 5 seasons of the Wire, 8 Seasons of 24, Madmen, Breaking Bad, 30 Rock, 5 years worth of HBO 24/7 and the excellent ESPN 30 for 30 series – that’s 480 hours of viewing just to catch up. FML, I have a JOB. There has to be a better way…
Trick Question: How long does it take to watch a season of 24?
Answer: 11 sad hours on a Sunday. How is this possible?
Depending on how intense the action is we’re down to somewhere between
16-22 minutes per episode (sweet).
There’s something here – it used to be about skipping ads, now I’m skipping through actual content? Hacking a TV show to fit into some ridiculous artificially created constraints. What’s the point of all this – other than “don’t skip 10 years of TV and try to catch up all at once?” or “have some self-control weirdo”.
It’s this: the demands on content creation are tougher than ever. New programming is not just fighting the web, gaming and social networking for time, but also great legacy content.
How are program creators going to get people to SIT and WATCH? Great writing? Star power? New concepts? More, better reality? All great answers, all outside of my domain…
New buzz word. “Content compression” – content developed with variable viewing time in mind. Want to watch The Bachelor season 42 for some reason? Only have 15 minutes? No problem – click and we show you the raciest bits, a catfight and the distraught look on a couple of c-list actresses that have been voted off the island. Done. Kind of an executive summary for housewives and teens… We already have highlight packages for sports, season recaps etc… But they still get slotted into the traditional fixed timeframe scheduling (otherwise how will they sell the ads?). Not so much in the future…
Think about it – how many times have you heard somebody say “I’m behind on my TiVo” or “I got my PVR down to 10% this weekend”?
Somewhere the Writers Guild is having a heart attack. What about art, what about craft, what about our union? With the deepest possible respect…what about my LIFE?
Don’t get me wrong – I love to bake out in front of the TV as much as the next guy, but at some point I wonder if the “more is better” model for the future of connected TV is really the problem we should be trying to solve.