News

Mobile Gaining Ground, but TV Still Rules

3/30/2010 6:58 AM Eastern

New York — While video continues to be watched
overwhelmingly on traditional TV screens, mobile
and Internet viewership are making cross-platform
interactivity part of mainstream media consumption,
said a group of panelists at the Multichannel News/
B&C “TV Everywhere & Anywhere” breakfast event
here last Wednesday (March 24) at the Grand Hyatt.

“Mobile is really ready for primetime,” said NBC Universal
research and media development president Alan Wurtzel
during a panel discussion on programming, moderated
by Multichannel News editor in chief Mark Robichaux.

Wurtzel used NBC’s recent Vancouver Winter Olympics
coverage as a research lab to look into how consumers are
using media across multiple platforms. The growth of mobile
usage has increased signifi cantly, he said — 70% of
people using NBC’s Olympic mobile WAP site had not accessed
it during the Beijing Olympics a year and a half
earlier. A spike in viewers using multiple screens at once
was also evident — 49% of people accessing Olympics-related
content from a mobile device were also watching the
games on TV, according to NBCU’s research: “Simultaneous
cross-platform use is very normal,” Wurtzel said.

The key for networks and operators is to get value for
the content, wherever it is being watched.

“What we see here is an evolution,” said Nora Ryan,
strategic adviser at Epix, the multiplatform movie channel
designed for cross-platform viewing. “We’re seeing
a new opportunity to reach the next generation of television
viewers.”

Rentrak chief research operator Bruce Goerlich agreed
with Wurtzel that simultaneous viewing of the Olympics
was a “harbinger” of increased multiscreen viewing.
“Our brains and wiring have changed,” he said, referring
to viewers’ ability to process information. But, voicing a
common refrain, he added that the only way to monetize
the new media viewing experience is with adaptable
metrics.

September