'Which Screen' Consumer Research

-- Respondents Consider Computers ‘Must Have’ Item --
-- Ad Receptiveness Lower on Smaller Screens --
-- Television Remains Primary Preference for Most Video Forms --

New York, NY – October 2, 2006 – In response to calls from media agencies for more concrete insight regarding multi-screen advertising, the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau released the findings of its ‘Which Screen’ consumer research study. The independent research conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates attempted to answer four critical questions surrounding consumers’ video watching habits and their tolerance for advertising:

  • Are video screens interchangeable?
  • How, where and when are video devices used?
  • Where does today’s television fit in a multi-video device home?
  • Will viewers tolerate advertising on different platforms?

Computers a ‘Must Have’ Item; Not For Video
The three month project revealed consumer attitudes towards several platforms including thosedevices they felt they needed most. When asked which device they absolutely could not live without, respondents stated the computer half of the time. When queried about their computer needs, respondents cited work, information needs and connection to others as the top reasons. Only 21% claimed watching video on the computer was a primary function. On average watching video on the computer ranked seventh out of the nine possible selections.

Those surveyed listed the television as the second most needed device citing entertainment, relaxation and addiction as the common reasons. Mobile phones were the next most selected platform. Only one percent of survey applicants stated that the I-Pod or PSP was a must have item. Approximately ten percent of respondents claimed none of the devices were must have items.

Ad-Effectiveness Considerably Lower on Small Screens
For the first time consumer receptiveness to advertising by device and screen size was explored. Applicants were asked what the maximum length of an advertisement they’d be willing to view on each device. Responses pointed to lower engagement on smaller screens. Receptiveness was lowest on mobile phones (nine seconds) followed by I-Pods/PSP’s (13 seconds) and then gradually increased as the screen size also increased with computers (18 seconds) scoring higher. Television with a 42 second average had the longest engagement levels among those surveyed.
Of those polled 48% stated that they did not want advertising on alternative devices. Additionally, more than half (51%) said they were not prepared to pay for content in exchange for skipping advertisements on their alternative smaller screen devices.

Video Length Effects Viewing Interest
When asked which devices they enjoyed watching various types of video, respondents selected television approximately 75% of the time as the primary medium for viewing live sports events, dramas, movies, comedies and children’s programming . However, short-form video on small screen devices scored higher with respondents citing news, weather, movie trailers, music videos and sports updates as the types of clips they enjoy viewing on the computer or mobile phone screen.
When asked where they wanted to watch video of any kind television remained the most preferred device followed by computers. Responses stated that portable devices were considered good for travel but watching video was not a primary use. Respondents claimed that watching video on mobile phones was the least used function on that device.

History/Methodology
The CAB commissioned Frank N. Magid Associates to conduct the survey after discussions with media agencies. The study used three approaches in gathering consumer insight. First, ‘media clinics’ were conducted to uncover how people talked about different devices in order to identify any pre-dispositions. Next, an online landscape survey queried 2101 people ages 12-54 about their attitudes and usage of various screens. All participants polled owned at least one television. The final method assigned respondents the task of viewing specific content from a pre-selected device to assess their experience, the content and the advertising effect. This select in-home group was chosen at random from the initial 2100 landscape survey participants. Margin of error for the landscape survey was +/- 2%.

About the CAB
Founded in 1980, the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau (www.onetvworld.org) is a television advertising advocacy group dedicated to providing advertisers and their agencies with the most current, complete and actionable media insights at the national, DMA and local levels.

About Frank N. Magid Associates
Frank N. Magid Associates (www.magid.com) is a leading media, entertainment and communication research and strategy firm, founded in 1957. Magid conducts strategic consumer research for leaders in the broadcast, cable, Internet wireless and gaming industries.

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Frank Magid Media Contact
Tony Berlin
Padilla Speer Beardsley
212-752-8338
tberlin@psbpr.com

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