Study: Brands Must Adapt to Shifting Media Habits of Users

Study: Brands Must Adapt to Shifting Media Habits of Users

Broadband users now spend 48% (about one hour and 40 minutes) of their spare time online during a typical weekday, and some 54% (54 minutes) of that online time is spent accessing activities related to entertainment and communication, according to a new report, titled “Netpop | Play,” by research firm Media-Screen.

“We have found that consumers, on a typical weekday, spend more than 40% of their time consuming media online. As more of the population goes online and there are more marketing channels, it will be imperative for the entertainment industry to know how to effectively allocate marketing and advertising dollars,” said Josh Crandall, managing director of Media-Screen.

On average, online broadband users devote 27% of their time online to leisure/entertainment, and an additional 27% for communication, followed by 9% on finding news and information, 15% on personal productivity, and 12% on shopping.

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The study examines how and where broadband users access entertainment content and information online (e.g., learn about new artists, buy related products, read reviews, use a program guide) and finds that media habits of modern consumers are shifting in the wake of iTunes, YouTube, MySpace and other “long tail” entertainment sites.

Online entertainment consumption is dramatically affecting conventional marketing and advertising channels Netpop | Play finds. For instance, search engines and social networking sites are gaining in popularity, influencing an equal number of people as magazines and newspapers. Moreover, 48% of younger users say they learn about new entertainment through user generation content sites (e.g., community, review and video sharing sites and blogs); by contrast, only 25% say they learn about new entertainment through television.

In general, online media-related activities now form an increasingly significant portion of consumers’ time. For example, 90% of respondents send emails and 81% visit websites, compared with 63% who watch television and 52% who read magazines or newspapers.

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“Users’ ability to ‘pull’ information and content associated with their favorite genre, artist or title changes the marketing game from gross ratings points to access and advocacy,” said Crandall.

“Many broadband consumers go online for entertainment, and to talk about entertainment with other fans. Marketers need to leverage that interest and focus on catalyzing a conversation now, instead of just talking to their fans via traditional advertising channels.”

For example, 47% of those who watch movies said the internet increases their enjoyment of movies, as did 30% of those who watch television. The internet’s impact on games and music is even greater, according to the study.

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Netpop is an ongoing study that marks the maturation of the consumer broadband market in the US. The study highlights the diversity within the broadband population, with a special focus on their attitudes and behaviors around advertising, shopping, community, entertainment and mobile devices.