Results of Viewing-Habits Study Announced


Frank N. Magid Associates revealed the results of a study on technology's impact on television-viewing habits during the 49th-annual PROMAX&BDA Conference at the New York Hilton & Towers Friday.

The report, "Promoting Television in a Digital World: New Rules to Live By," examined the impact of digital-video recorders, interactive programming guides, video-on-demand and interactive TV on viewing habits.

The research firm drew four major conclusions from its results:

• Don't rely on random surfing because IPGs dominate viewing decisions: IPGs make it far easier for viewers to go directly to the channel or program they want. More and more viewers begin watching TV with a trip to an IPG, and their reliance is growing.

• On-air promotion must change, but on-air promotion is still alive and kicking: Nine out of 10 viewers still said they depend on on-air spots to learn about what's new on TV, and two-thirds listed TV as their most important source for information about what to watch on TV, far and away more than any other source.

• You must be everywhere your viewers are because viewers are taking control: As viewers experience more control with their TV viewing, they desire more control on every front. They continue to use TV promotion and their IPG to find out what's on, what's new and to make decisions, in addition to relying on print and online editorial sources to fill them in on what they like, what's new and what's hot.

• Prepare now for a time-shifted world because DVRs escalate viewer control: DVR users watch more channels on a regular basis (15 vs. 12); they are more likely to say they attempt to watch new programs they hear about on TV; and four out of 10 DVR users said they are watching more television than they did beforehand.