The one thing that kept TV vital and as the premium communication channel was the promise of live TV: People will watch live TV, such as sporting events, and they will consume commercials just to see the live action again.
This theory was always faulty: Besides the fact that people might not leave the room but focus their attention on their family and friends during commercial break, a majority of people have their laptop handy and will focus their attention on productive work before refocusing their attention on TV again. But, more importantly, people are getting sick of the time tyranny of live TV.
A Global Broadcast Consumer Survey conducted by Accenture shows that people are getting used to an on-demand lifestyle: they want to pick and choose when they consume any form of media. The numbers are astounding: 83% of of people are unhappy with the inflexibility of live TV, mostly based on their complaints about commercials (64 percent) and not being able to rewind (40%).
Media consumption habits are changing so rapidly, businesses and agencies have problems keeping up. Even worse, media consumption habits are not even studied closely enough. An impression makes no impression anymore. When you have a magazine next to you on the couch, the TV blaring and the NY Times homepage on your computer, what do you count as an impression? We all know that people can’t consume three different medium at once, so how do you count these three impressions? And how shall publishers be reimbursed for part-attention impressions?
Add to the mix the advent of Social Networks, the move from top-down to bottom-up entertainment and you have a pretty confusing picture and even more confused brands. Agencies need to help businesses to clear up that confusion. Unless they are even more foggy.