TV Content, Advertising Are King, Smartphones On the Rise

Today Deloitte released its annual "State of the Media Democracy" survey; it showed which media and companies are dominating in this new digital landscape.

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TV Content still rules: Forget about the rise of user-generated content, the survey finds that 71 percent of Americans say watching TV on any device is among their favorite activities.

Note the use of the term "on any device."

Watching TV no longer means sitting on the couch in front of the big screen in your living room. Watching TV means watching TV shows anywhere - on your iPad, laptop, and increasingly on your smart phone. Nearly three quarters of people say use their home TV set to watch their favorite programs, but millennials are watching more and more online - 37 percent of that group watch TV shows online five to seven days a week.

Smartphones are infiltrating Content Consumption: The number of people with smartphones is growing steadily - 33 percent of American households have one, three times the percentage three years ago. The number gets higher for younger demographics - 54 percent of millennials have a smart phone, and they use them to make purchases, visit Facebook, Tweet, and of course, consume content.

People aren't just watching content on their phones, they're using them to connect *about* what they're watching in real time. That means some major multi-tasking: when watching TV, 42 percent of people are online, 29 percent are talking on mobile phones and 26 percent are sending IMs or texts. All these real-time conversations about TV content engages viewers and acts as a multiplier - getting more to watch.

TV ads still matter most: Despite the rise of targeted Internet ads, 86 percent of Americans say that TV advertising has the most impact on their buying decisions. That doesn't mean Internet ads are irrelevant; the multi-tasking described above means that supplemental Internet ads can give TV spots more impact.

This bodes well for media companies like CBS, which is more reliant on TV ads than any of its peers. CBS was hit hard during the economic - and advertising - downturn. As the ad industry recovers, CBS and the other broadcasters will continue look to bundle TV and web ads for a bigger impact.

Questions? Comments?