Hollywood director Francis Ford Coppola once said: “The very earliest people who made films were magicians.” In some ways, things haven’t changed — although the media producers of today seem to pull the classic reappearing act as their key trick: When content finishes on one screen, it reappears on another . . . and then another.
Video is available across myriad personal devices, and consumers’ viewing habits are fragmented across technologies. Just as channels for video consumption are becoming more profuse, the types of content that viewers seek are also increasingly diverse. In the past month alone, American audiences said hello to streaming-exclusive dramas and goodbye to long-running TV shows. This week, consumers viewed an array of films like those premiering at SXSW, and tuned into the March Madness sports frenzy.
Consumers have choices about what to watch, on which device, and when. According to Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® data, US online adults still prefer to watch longer-length video on TVs but frequently turn to smaller devices for shorter content:
This data illustrates how the quintessential picture of linear TV viewing is dramatically evolving as tech-savvy viewers with new consumption appetites enter the picture. Consumers can now select their preferred screen based on the type of content they wish to view, and each device supports a unique need. This allows media consumption to become even more ubiquitous and transcend the boundaries of time and place.
In his recent report, my colleague Jim Nail reveals that this modern pattern of media consumption gives marketers new opportunities to harness the power of video and tell their brand stories. However, in order to do this successfully, marketing professionals must “factor in different attention and engagement by platform.” As Jim says, “up to this point, advertisers have largely assumed that a video ad performs similarly whether it’s on TV, online, or on a mobile phone . . . TV may still have the larger audiences, but the smaller, more attentive audiences on other devices may drive higher message communication.” Marketers who understand the nuances in consumer behavior, engagement, and attitude across multimedia platforms can most effectively appeal to their target groups and leave their audiences enchanted.