Why Would TV Viewers Surf The Web Simultaneously?

On September 14, 2009, in advertising, Social Media Marketing, by Mike D. Merrill (@mikedmerrill)

DayBed by Mauelsaez

Nielsen just published a study stating that 57% of TV Viewers use the web simultaneously. Mashable also wrote about this study with interesting conclusions citing how social media is now appearing in more TV shows as well.

This has become a common discussion point in many of the workshops and social media discussions I have with folks. Why do you ask? As we consume more and more data and leverage social media sites, there is a desire to stay connected. As new social games such as A&E’s Parking War’s are developed for Facebook by the likes of Area Code, it is only going to push this further. For a neat video about this check out the AdAge Video featuring a discussion regarding these new games.

This is also creating challenges at home. With a laptop for every person in my household, we are often running power cords all over and swapping out when needed. In fact, there have even been several episodes of “How I Met Your Mother” that prompted the ‘ole pause button on the DVR so I could pull the laptop out and check real-time. Case in point is the Barney Stinson Bro Code mention.

Ramifications for Advertisers

Traditional media has been in trouble for some time with the lagging economy, growth of social media and the DVR. Not only are more people paying attention to multiple sources of content, our attention spans are continuing to decrease. How will TV producers create engaging media experiences to keep us glued to the airing shows so that advertisers continue to line up? The study states that innovative marketers are learning to take advantage of it. Personally, I am starting to like how new live events are integrating social media to take advantage of this changing human dynamic. MTV has leveraged this recently as is CNN. Albeit, I don’t really watch MTV much since they stopped showing videos.

The New Living Room

More relevant to my issue is how to design a living room environment to make this new form of media consumption more comfortable. If I could only get a couple of these Day Bed’s pictured above by Mauelsaez to evaluate I could truly test this for comfort and usability? Anyone? Bueller?

The bigger challenge for laptop users is battery life. Until some genius solves the ongoing battery issues, how can new end tables be built to hold laptops in a sleeve and keep them charged and out of sight. Right now our laptops sit on the coffee table and end tables. With laptops outselling desktops, furniture manufacturers need to catch up and design a few solutions that match the typical look and feel of end tables or something even more innovative. How about in the coffee table itself?

What do you all think? Please comment below or shout at me on Twitter @mikedmerrill

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