June 25, 2010

Nielsen Buries The Lead

The advertising industry is so intent on pumping up (some might say pimping up) web and mobile video, they can't even see the real world anymore.

Nielsen's "Three Screen Report" (which reports on TV, web, and mobile screen usage) for the first quarter of 2010 has some astounding data about viewing habits. But you'd never know it from reading their conclusions.

Here are the facts I found compelling.
1. While time spent with TV increased by 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year, time on the internet dropped by 10 times that amount.

2. Compared to Q1 last year, TV viewing grew by 2 hours per month, while watching video on the internet grew by 11 minutes per month.

3. DVR viewers fast forwarded through 3% fewer spots compared to Q1 a year ago.

4. The number of people watching TV and using a laptop simultaneously dropped by almost 5% compared to last year.

5. Video viewing on the internet continues to be less than 1% of all viewing.

6. Mobile viewing of video is essentially a non-factor, constituting about 2/10 of 1% of total viewing.
Meanwhile, here are the "Key Conclusions" Nielsen draws:
1. While mobile subscribers watching video on a mobile phone is (sic) still only a small fraction of the audience, the year-over-year growth is a notable 51.2% 

2. Over half (55%) of the mobile video audience is aged 25-49, not teens as some might think 

3. Simultaneous usage of television and PC, while down year-over-year in March, remains fairly constant.
Two of the "key conclusions" revolve around mobile viewing, which is not even a pimple on the ass of total viewing. No "key conclusions" about the amazing, continuing dominance of television.  Nothing about the bewildering drop in internet viewing (can you imagine the hysteria and death knells if time spent with TV dropped 13% in one year!)

To me it is painfully obvious that the marketing and advertising industries have so thoroughly bought into the "narrative" of the power of web and mobile video --  and are so eager to find justification for that narrative -- that they can't even interpret their own numbers sensibly.

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