Sunday, April 4, 2010

Radio stations, pay attention ...

From OnlineMediaDaily:

Online TV viewers are willing to watch nearly twice as much advertising as is commonly delivered, according to new research from comScore.

Indeed, online advertising's "sweet spot" is between 6 and 7 minutes per hour, based on the responses of more than 1,800 U.S. Web users who watch originally scripted TV content.

According to comScore, that number is substantially higher than the approximately 4 minutes per hour that is currently consumed by ads delivered online as part of TV content.

"While some analysts have suggested that the shift to online video reflects a consumer desire to view fewer ads, our research suggests that in many cases online TV viewers actually have a higher tolerance for advertising messages than they are currently receiving," said Tania Yuki, comScore director of online video and cross-platform product.

Added Yuki: "This finding, of course, suggests there's advertising revenue being left on the table, and that media companies have not yet extracted full value out of the online medium."

Study participants naturally fell into three key categories: TV-only viewers -- 65% -- cross-platform, i.e., TV and online viewers -- 29% -- and online-only viewers -- 6%.

In order to determine viewer receptivity to advertising when watching TV shows online, respondents were asked a battery of questions pertaining to tolerance.

The questions were designed to assess the levels of advertising -- based on one minute increments from 0-15 minutes -- viewers would tolerate when watching one hour of TV programming on the Internet.

When cross-platform viewers were asked about their motivation for consuming a portion of their TV content online, freedom in time and space emerged as primary motivators.

A full 75% of these viewers selected "online" over "TV" because they were able to watch the show wherever they wanted, while 74% selected online because they were able to watch the show on their own time.

They also preferred online TV viewing for the ability to stop and play shows when they wanted -- 70% -- and less interference from commercials -- 67%. TV fared substantially better than online for sound and picture quality.

When asked specifically why they watched TV episodes online, the most frequently cited reason among cross-platform viewers was that they had missed an episode on TV -- 71%, followed by convenience -- at 57% -- and fewer ads -- 38%. Meanwhile, time-shifting of TV viewing is most prevalent among younger TV viewers, with only 35% of viewers age 18-24 indicating they watched episodes live, 42% saying they watched the programming at a different time within one week of the original air date, and 23% saying that they watched more than one week after the original air date.

What's more, 25- to-34-year-olds exhibited fairly similar time-shifting behavior to 18- to-24-year-olds, while older age segments exhibited the least amount of time-shifting behavior.

Younger TV viewers are also more likely to watch TV across media, with 54% of cross-platform viewers under the age of 35 compared to just 30% of TV-only viewers.