Promax&BDA study reveals impact of technology on TV viewing

MUMBAI: Don't rely on random surfing because Interactive Programme Guides (IPG) dominate viewing decisions, on-air promotion must change, but on-air promotion is still alive and kicking, you must be everywhere your viewers are because viewers are taking control, prepare now for a time shifted world because DVRs escalate viewer control -- these are the four important rules media and entertainment research and consultation firm Frank N. Magid Associates came up with for television's promotion and marketing executives.

The research firm was revealing the findings on 'technology's impact on television viewing habits', during a seminar at the 49th annual Promax&BDA conference at the New York Hilton & Towers in Manhattan.



The in-depth and exclusive research study commissioned by the Promax&BDA organization specifically addresses the impact of technology-based devices such as Tivo and other digital video recorders (DVRs) as well as how technology-based services like IPGs, video on demand (VOD) and interactive or enhanced television (ITV or ETV) features are changing the way people watch television.

Notable findings and recommendations the survey has thrown up include:

1. If there are any opportunities for topical program listings in IPGs, take advantage.

2. Declining channel surfing and growing time -shifting indicate a need for alternative on-air promotion formats

3. Don't oversell - viewers trust on-air spots, so the message must match the product.

4. Produce on-screen messages for both linear and time-shifted viewing

5. Use static text - to be readable during fast-forward and rewind

6. Younger viewers are using the Web and magazines to read and learn about what's on TV. They want to "discover" what to watch, not be told what to watch.

Frank N. Magid Associates president Brent Magid commented, "This study provides the Promax&BDA members with timely insights as to how to effectively promote programs using the latest technology-based tools, such as IPGs and the internet, as well as how to efficiently reach DVR users, still a relatively untapped area for marketing."

"By commissioning this valuable research study, Promax&BDA is able to provide timely and accurate information that would be cost-prohibitive to many within our membership. It is another part of the organization's ongoing commitment to providing solid return on investment to its membership," added Promax&BDA president and CEO Jim Chabin.

Frank N. Magid Associates' team of expert researchers conducted the nationwide survey in late May of this year, interviewing approximately 1,200 people who were subscribers to a digital cable or satellite service. In analyzing the respondents' answers, the research was firm was able to determine the following: The way people watch TV is fundamentally changing in a digital world; Viewers are taking more control with IPGs and DVRs; They're becoming more discriminating and are doing more advance planning; however, people still love TV, use it often, and they depend on TV to tell them what's on so they can make decisions.

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