Online video has become an increasingly popular advertising channel, with many marketers shifting budgets from TV to online. Such a response might imply that traditional TV consumption is falling off a cliff, succumbing to the soaring rise of online video. While TV and online video consumption are no doubt linked, looking only at their isolated trends can prove misleading, masking what continues to be a vast gap in consumption.
But viewing numbers continue to favor traditional TV by a large margin. Overall, Americans aged 2 and up watched 31-and-three-quarter hours of TV per week during Q2, or more than 4-and-half-hours per day. By contrast, Americans watched exactly one hour of video online or on a mobile phone per week during the same period.
It’s important to note that Nielsen’s mobile viewing data is limited to mobile phones, not tablets. However, even the inclusion of tablets may not make a big dent in the data: a recent study suggested that tablets make up 5.7% of total online video viewing, versus 4.5% for mobile phones.
There is no doubt also that video viewing figures differ heavily when sorting by age group. But the vast gap still holds true even among youth, who are gradually watching less TV. For example, during Q2, 18-24-year-olds watched roughly 21-and-a-half hours of traditional TV per week. How much time did they spend watching video on the internet or on a mobile phone, combined? Less than 2 hours.
Interestingly, the combined online viewing figure for 18-24-year-olds (1 hour and 54 minutes, to be exact) is down from Q1 consumption (2 hours and 32 minutes combined), although it’s slightly up from 1 hour and 45 minutes at the same time last year.
So I have hit you with a lot of numbers, but what does it mean? The short and skinny of it is this: TV is the technology and marketing highway of the 20th century and online/mobile is the tech for the 21st century... and yes, I view newspapers and print as the technology of my grandparents. Your marketing and advertising dollars (peso, euro, yen, well you get the point) should be weighted heavily online. To try to promote your online property portal via TV or even worse - dare I say it - newspapers and print magazines, is a waste of money. Embrace the 21st century and new technology, and give up your rotary phone.