Viewers flip through media at an alarming rate

Content companies and cable providers have to devise new ways to engage this new generation of fickle viewing.

By Trefis Apr 13, 2012 9:07AM
A recent survey commissioned by Time Warner (TWX) and conducted by Innerscope Research suggests that the new age video viewers are flipping through media at an alarmingly high rate -- 27 times every hour when they are not working. The culprit -- too many options floating in the market and flooding of channels.

This implies that it is imperative for content companies to create engaging and unique content, and it becomes necessary for pay-TV and streaming service providers such as Comcast (CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Netflix (NFLX) to take a step towards personalization.

Time Warner Stock Break-Up

Surely if this finding is correct, it impacts the advertisers also in a big way. They'll need to make their advertisements more targeted and convey their messages in a short amount of time.

However, that may not be the end of it. Streaming and pay-TV service providers will look at ways to personalize the content so that as soon as the viewers hit play they are looking at something that they really want to. This is one way for engaging the viewers for a longer time with a single media source or channel, and thus can help the advertisers channel their funds appropriately.

Video content is increasingly getting fragmented and the number of choices act like a double-edged sword. Content companies and cable providers need to figure out how to engage this new generation of fickle viewing.

Our price estimate for Time Warner stands at $40.20, implying a discount of little less than 10% to the market price.

Apr 13, 2012 11:02AM
Cable is a waste of money and a great way to waste your life away watching shows that lower your IQ.       Watch for subscriber rates to continue to drop as the price keeps going higher with more and more ads.
Apr 13, 2012 2:51PM

I use Dish after being a Comcast "citizen" for 30 years.  Comcast's prices just kept going up until it just wasn't worth it.


I know the movies aren't the newest, but I enjoy the heck out of Netflix.  Between TV series I would never watch when they aired to a host of B movies over the last 30 years, I have enough entertainment for my needs. 


For example, I would never have the patience to watch a lot of good TV series like Eureka or Twin Peaks, but when I can watch several episodes at once, the characters and storylines are a lot more meaningful.    Anyway, Netflix is a bargain for me, just my 2 cents.



Apr 13, 2012 3:44PM
No, the current bait-n-switch media strategy is ANGERING Viewers at an alarming rate - and pissing them off 27 times per hour. Your Viewers are trying to tell you that we really ARE NOT STUPID - 27 times per hour: you just dont listen.

We are ALL becoming far less tolerant of the constant barrage of inane, in-your-face marketing. I am old enough to remember when a 30-minute TV show actually contained 25 whole minutes of content, with only 5  minutes devoted to "a word from our sponsor". NOW, we are expected to tolerate more "word from our sponsor" minutes than actual content: um, NO!
Case in point: "Jeopardy"; EVERY time  the Alex Trebec says " ... right after this", you will see more than half the viewers flip to another channel or turn off the set.

You want to hold my interest? then DONT let Gieco equate car insurance to a friggin Taste Test. Dont show me drugs that are targeting 1/1000th of the population - and have caveats and side effects that rival Thalidomide or DDT.
Apr 13, 2012 3:13PM
T.V. programming now has the same relevance as radio programming in my life; i.e. not much.  The quality of content is simply awful.

The cable television industry, as a condition of deregulation was supposed to offer us custom channel options instead of these **** defined channel packages.


The cable televsion industry was also supposed to offer us a "generic" cable box, capable of working on any provider's network.  One the consumer could purchase and maintain on his own without suffering the monthly costs of 'box rental' and/or 'box insurance' (ala:  DirecTV).


Why the FCC continues to allow the criminal executive class to break their promises year after year, continue to consolidate under the guise of "lowering costs", yet costs of gone up year after year after year after especially in markets where there are fewer and fewer competitors smacks yet again of yet another corrupt government agency.  Nuetered from the top down by over stuffed pockets of the robber barons in charge of the industry.


This is why Netflix, Hulu, et al, are becoming ever more popular.  It's TV where the viewer has much more control over the amount of commercials and specifically what they want to watch.


The industry is trying to head off this trend by serruptitiously changing all our home internet contracts to measured plans.  Instead of just paying for a particular bandwidth speed, you're also going to see your data plans limited to specific amounts of GB per month.


Unless we tell these companies under no uncertain terms that they are NOT entitled to our every last dime, they're going to continue to find ways to rape our wallets.

Apr 13, 2012 3:48PM

I was watching Falling Skies and every 7 minutes there was a 5 minute commercial break. I made it through two episodes, until the weak storyline and unattractive characters just turned me off completely. And that is my new rule: try to bash me with some skiny chick in a car that I should be 'loving', or some dude throwing a football through a swinging tyre and I just switch to the Weather Channel and pick up the iPad and get some Netflix or movie streaming running.


I just vote myself off the island.

Apr 13, 2012 4:57PM

Gee, sorry - all of you companies that keep screeching to BUY ME BUY ME BUY ME, I can and do ignore you.  I already resent how much out of every dollar I spend goes to advertising.   It's certainly not my fault entertainers (that includes professional sports) are grossly overpaid - which forces advertisers to pay more - which forces the consumer to pay more.   The very few TV shows I watch in real time, I never watch commercials.  TV shows I want to watch, I just wait until they're out on DVD.  I don't have cable so I don't sit mindlessly watching junk.  There are lots of ways to "just say no" to advertisers and marketers.   Can't you just imagine a conference room full of "alarmed" executives because you just switched the channel during a commercial.  Yum!

Apr 13, 2012 4:13PM

All these posts are right on. It is ridiculous to sit through the same commercials over and over. I cant blame anyone for swithching channels or begging off cable or satelite. When will the sponsors get it?

Off the grid!

Apr 13, 2012 6:08PM
I'll pay a higher bill just to get rid of the commericals.
Apr 13, 2012 4:19PM
wow! elwood you are lucky. When I called verizon to see about a cheaper package, all they told me is if I change it my rate would go up. Of course I said SeeYa! I use roku and it rocks.
Apr 13, 2012 3:52PM

We had a chick from Comcast come around last night. She offered us a phone package, upgraded movie channels, a DVR, and dropped our monthly price by $40. We were about to pull the plug completely.


Sounds like they might be listening. Hi Comcast!

Apr 13, 2012 7:20PM

For me it's simple - Commercials are so loud that instead of passively watching them, I get annoyed and change the channel. Even when I'm casually watching while doing something on the laptop, the ridiculous volume gets my attention and so I change the channel.

When are the broadcasters going to reduce the volume to a normal range?

For my family, live TV is almost unwatchable and so I DVR everything so I can fast forward through the commercials. It's not the time aspect, but the stupid volume. (expecially on Nick. They must think parents upstairs need to also hear the commercial.) 

Apr 13, 2012 4:05PM
MSNNBC has comment section below thier articles on the internet. I like to read the article and then read the comments and see what others are thinking.
Apr 13, 2012 6:11PM
They want to keep paying these clowns on TV millions to act badly. Then it won't be with my money
Apr 13, 2012 8:01PM

I haven't had cable for a year and my life is so much better! I watch want I want when I want on netflix/hulu and find myself doing more interesting activity instead of sitting there flipping through channels. Also, netflix is great for children.

Apr 13, 2012 7:45PM
An advertiser who tries to shove something down my throat gets nothing.

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