Thursday, 26 March 2009

Media Democracy

(By Richard Holway 6.00pm 26th March 09) I’ve just been reading Deloitte’s “The State of the Media Democracy Survey”.

As regular readers know, I am very interested in how the use of technology varies by generation. One of the most annoying points that my own Baby Boomer friends make to me is “Why do the young spend so much time in front of their computers – why don’t they go out and do things like we did”. The problem is that the facts don’t stack.

When I came in from school in the 1960s and later, when my own children came in from school in the 1970s/80s, they slumped in front of the TV watching Neighbours! The Deloitte study indicates that whereas my own generation spends 18.7 hours a week watching TV, Generation Y (here defined as the 14-25 year olds) spend just 10 hours a week watching TV. It’s just that the computer has taken over as the entertainment device of choice. 79% of Generation Y find the computer more ‘entertaining’ than the TV. So what does Generation Y do when they are not watching TV? Well, playing computer games, social networking and texting/IM. Actually, they multitask – probably doing all these things at the same time!

This multitasking is a nightmare for advertisers. Across all age groups, only 36% said that when watching TV they did nothing else! And, as Deloitte’s say, isn’t it interesting that advertisement breaks are exactly the time needed to make a cup of tea.

But for all the various ways and times that we can now watch TV, it is rather comforting that 66% of respondents would rather watch their favourite TV programme at home, on the TV, when it is first transmitted.

The shared TV experience is still the best – whether it was me and my kids watching the Generation Game or today watching Strictly Come Dancing. And that is still the best way for advertisers to get at their customers.

If you would like to see more of the Deloitte report, Click here where you can download a summary or contact

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