Boob tube vs. YouTube

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Americans watch an average of 32 hours of TV a week. That's a bonafide OMG.
Americans watch an average of 32 hours of TV a week. That's a bonafide OMG.

Imagine the scene: Dad is watching the NCAA basketball finals in the living room. Mom is swooning as the latest Mad Men plot twist plays out on another screen. Junior is taking in a few episodes of Game of Thrones on his tablet, and his little sister is glued to the Disney Channel in her bedroom. Putting aside the question of whether or not the American family is broken, this is the fractured audience digital advertisers are attempting to tackle in a world where people consume content like omnivores and switch screens like it's going out of style.

So how can advertisers make cash off digital content when linear broadcast television is still 80% of what people watch? This was the Holy Grail question under discussion at the Digital Content Monetization East in New York City in June 20.

Eighty percent. That's a lot of percent. “It's hard to hear sometimes, but we continue to fight the fight,” says Eric Morris, VP of global media sales at Kaltura, addressing an audience of evangelical digitalists. For the moment, when consumers consume, linear is outpacing all other delivery models.

“If you look at the paid VOD [video on demand] from the cable providers today, that distribution is more than even YouTube,” Morris says. “People are still willing to pay for that experience and that content.”

Guess how many hours of TV the average American watches in a week? No guess. Okay, I'll tell you: THIRTY TWO HOURS. Fifty to 60 year olds watch more, around 40 to 44 hours. Compare that to the number of minutes (minutes, not hours), the average adult spends watching content on the Internet: 27. Then contrast that with the mere seven minutes consumers generally spend watching video content on a mobile device.

Video on mobile has a long way to go,” Morris says. “That's why digital advertising is not quite catching up with TV advertising.”

More numbers for you, courtesy of PriceWaterhouseCoopers: Traditional television will do roughly $72 billion in sales this year. That's slated to rise to $94 billion in 2015. Online should do about $3 billion in sales this year, a number PWC projects will go up to $6 billion three years from now.

As Morris hopefully notes, “That's a 7% slice of the pie.”

As Morris optimistically ended his presentation, “The world won't change overnight.”

 

Allison Schiff
is web editor at
Direct Marketing News.


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