I just read an article in MediaPost entitled, “Time Spent With Media Falters, Digital Spawns Shorter Attention Spans” that covers a study by Veronis Suhler Stevenson's Communications.
My first question is, who commissioned this report?
I do not feel like paying two grand for this report so I am going to have to comment on MediaPost’s extractions. If anyone wants to send me the report for free, I promise to read it.
"For example, consumers typically watch broadcast or cable television at least 30 minutes per session, while they spend as little as five to seven minutes viewing consumer-generated video,"
Fine this may be true (to a degree), but what does this really mean? Is this something advertisers should fear?
- Are modern consumers really glued to the TV for 30 minutes per session or are they getting up during commercials or just plain skipping them. Come on guys, this is total crap. If I am tied to the TV for 30 minutes it is because the show is 30 minutes long sans commercial
MediaPost then goes on to talk about how the study mentions a decline in ad supported media.
- Ummm. Did they ever stop to think that this is due to the fact that much of the advertising is irrelevant and consumers have learned how to avoid ad supported media where possible?
Then they say that the share of time spent with "media supported predominately by consumers" rose to 46.2%.
- I think the answer here is obvious. Advertisers, sponsor better content or learn how to operate in the new media ecosystem. Trust me, it can be done!
The report postulates that we are becoming a less literate society due to the decline in print consumption
- What does this mean? First of all, people do read text in the digital media space. Second, I would say that we are more media literate than ever before.
Why This Study Bothers Me
Not having the actual study I cannot tell if it is the study itself, or Mediapost’s analysis of the study that cooks my goose. Here is a direct quote from MediaPost:
“THE RAPID SHIFT OF CONSUMERS toward digital media options for news, information and entertainment is producing an unintended consequence for all of the industry's stakeholders--especially advertisers: It's reducing the amount of time people spend with media. For the first time in recent memory, the amount of time consumers spend with media has declined, according to the 2007 edition of an influential industry report, which forewarns that the efficiency of using digital media is the primary factor.”
Come on guys…
Perhaps we should try and stifle the growth of digital media so that lazy execs (I know a lot of people in traditional media that I respect and I am not pointing a finger at the industry, rather I am point a finger at those people who want to leave work at 3 to go play golf while the digital folks stay at the office until midnight trying to figure out the future of advertising and marketing) can continue to enjoy martini lunches and executive golf outings.