Users Surf Internet and Watch Television Together

blinkx announced the results of a new survey on television and online video viewing habits conducted on its behalf by Harris Interactive®. The survey, designed to shed light into the interplay between television viewing and Internet usage, revealed some startling results.

It's Prime Time Online
There's no question that the market for online television and video has arrived. According to comScore, nearly 136 million Americans, or 75% of total Internet users, watch online video. Similarly, a July 2007 report from Pew Internet & American Life Project entitled Online Video reported that 76% of young adults (age 18-29) consume online video, and that two-thirds of those individuals (67%) then forward those videos on to friends and family.

"With the ubiquity of broadband and the increasing availability of high quality content online, we wanted to better understand what audiences are really looking for and how they want to watch it, said Suranga Chandratillake, founder and CEO of blinkx. "Online television shouldn't simply replicate the living rooms TV experience we already have. We wanted insight into how to bring combined television's best qualities, with the immersive, connected power of the Internet.

Media Multitasking

Many of the early concerns about online video revolved around the Web stealing away television viewers. Today's survey results point to the fact that when it comes to TV vs. the Web, it's not an either/or proposition it's both.

When it comes to television viewing, the survey showed that more than three in four adults are doing the two-screen tango. Viewers aren't necessarily abandoning their TV in favor of the Web; many are using the Web as an accompaniment to their TV viewing. In fact, 78% U.S. adults go online while watching TV, and more than a third of them do so always or often.

Double Dippers
"Double-dippers are comprised of adults who enjoy surfing the Internet while watching television. Fully 62% of double-dippers surf the web while watching television for content that is not related to what they're watching. And 25% of double-dippers go online for information specific to the programming they are currently viewing. Most commonly, double-dippers who surf the web for related content are looking for more information or color about what they're watching, be it profiles of the actors (51%), products/services that appeared in or were advertised during the program (40%), or related upcoming events (39%).

Typers vs. Talkers
One generational consistency revealed in the survey is the difference between a "talker and a "typer. In general, the older the individual, the more likely that person is to discuss TV content with other individuals in person, i.e., with co-workers, friends or family. These are the talkers. The largest segment of individuals that routinely respond to TV content via face-to-face conversations (60%) was the 35-44 age group. Correspondingly, individuals aged 16-24 are most likely to interact with others online (17%) or read coverage or reviews of TV content online (24%).

"Similar to double-dipper behavior, added Chandratillake, "it's not necessarily a question of either/or. Some individuals enjoy the act of face-to-face conversation about television content; others interact heavily online and value the sounding board provided by the Web community. The fact that 'typers' skew younger is an indicator to the advertising community as to how and when to allocate online spend as an adjunct to TV viewership.

Survey Highlights
A summary of some other highlights from the survey include:

  • 78% of adults who watch television use the web while doing so
  • — 35% report doing so often or always
  • 62% of double-dippers surf for content related to what they're watching
  • 40% of them look for products/services that appeared in or were
  • advertised during the program they're watching
  • 39% of them look for upcoming/related events
  • When it comes to watching video or television content online,
  • twice as many online adults typically watch full-length television
  • shows, movies, or sporting events, as compared to user-generated
  • content (25% vs. 13%, respectively).
  • When it comes to finding Internet video content, consumer behavior
  • is almost equally divided between search engines and users going
  • directly to content owner Web sites

As the pioneer in video search technology, blinkx has built a reputation as the smartest way to search new forms of online content such as video. With more than 220 partners and 18 million hours of indexed video and audio content, including favorite TV moments, news clips, short documentaries, music videos, video blogs and more, blinkx uses advanced speech recognition technology to deliver results that are more accurate and reliable than standard metadata-based keyword searches.

About the Survey
Harris Interactive® fielded the online survey on behalf of blinkx between February 13 and February 18, 2008 among nationwide cross-sections of 2,471 adults aged 18+ in the United States and 2,228 adults aged 16+ in Great Britain. The Great Britain data were weighted to be representative of the total G.B. adult population on the basis of region, age, sex, education, and income. The U.S. data were weighted to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, and race/ethnicity. Both sets of data were weighted to be representative of the population of online adults in each country.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys.

Because the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris Interactive online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.


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About the Author -
Mark Robertson is the Founder and Publisher of ReelSEO, an online information resource dedicated to the fusion of video, technology, social media, search, and internet marketing. He is a YouTube Certified, video marketing consultant and video marketing expert, popular speaker, and considered to be a passionate leader within the online video and search marketing industries. View All Posts By -

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