TV Set’s Still the Big Screen On Campus

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The Hookup: Media Use in the College Environment
Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing Aug. 27

College kids may not want to be seen without cellphones or MP3 players, but they still prefer the old-fashioned television set for viewing video, according to a new report from CTAM.

Though 21% report viewing video on computers, the majority of viewing — 70% — is done on their television sets, according to the feedback from students. Of those who watch online, 10% are using their computers to catch up on favorite shows and 11% are selecting content from Web sites YouTube and MySpace.

About nine out of 10 of the students said they have shared video content on their computers. Eighty-four percent said they have shared videos; 88% said they have received videos forwarded from friends. The computer is the most-often-used vehicle for sharing content, but cellphones and MP3 players are also heavily used. Seventy-four percent said they had sent video via cellphone and 76% said they had received content that way; 75% said they had sent video using an MP3 player; and 76% said they’d received content on their portable media devices.

In addition to querying the students about their viewing devices, the study also asked about their preferred providers. This indicates that cable is the preferred video and high-speed Internet provider. Off-campus residents have a choice in providers, and 79% of those study participants indicated they have subscribed to cable. This compares to 7% who said they’ve subscribed to satellite services and 2% who’ve bought their service from telephone companies.

Sixty-five percent of the off-campus dwellers said they’ve selected the cable company as their high-speed Internet provider; just 26% have selected digital-subscriber line service from a local phone company.

The survey was conducted for CTAM by the market-research department. The study queried 400 college students, equally divided between off- and on-campus residents. The sample was selected to represent a variety of ages, genders, numbers of years in college, types of colleges and living environments. There will be a follow-up focus group of “power users,” college students who will be screened for their knowledge of entertainment products and their usage rates.