Since the first television “play” was transmittedin 1930, television programs have evolved fromoccasional entertainment to must-have media.The Internet has continued to fuel this evolutionwith the growth of online content specific totelevision programs. In order to more fullyunderstand how the Internet has impacted TVviewer behavior, Yahoo! partnered with interac-tive marketing agency, Deep Focus, on
Engageand Entertain: the Impact of the Internet on your TV Show Brand
, an in-depth study fieldedfrom September through December 2007.
The following summarizes findings fromthe study.
The New TV: It’s Not Your Parents’Television
Years ago, families crowded around their livingroom television weekly to tune in and discoverthe latest trauma in the Brady Bunch household.Some nights the family would watch together.Some nights it would just be brother and sister.Some nights the TV stayed dark because noone was home.Welcome to the new TV where must-see showsare never missed—they’re taped or DVR’d. Thisstudy found that a third of all TV viewers wantmore than the weekly show—they go online toengage more deeply. The new TV is aboutknowing everything there is to know about thepast show, the future show, the characters and,in some cases, the actors who play them. Thenew TV is about sharing all of this knowledgewith friends and coworkers around the virtualwater cooler via email, IM and social networks.While both older viewers (35+ years) andyounger viewers (under 35 years) seek informa-tion on TV shows online, older viewers see theweekly airing of a show as the “main event.”For younger viewers, the weekly episode of ashow is only one part of the much larger“brand” of the show represented bythe show’s online presence in conjunction withthe weekly episode.
The Internet Drives Viewer EngagementBefore A Show Airs
If you’re waiting until your new show airs tounveil the show’s online strategy, you’re waitingtoo long. This study found that significant TVviewer engagement activity occurs prior tothe first airing of a new television show. Themajority of information seeking activity (64%)for new shows peaks pre-season whereasinformation seeking for current shows isfairly constant throughout the season (52%pre-season; 48% after the beginning ofthe season).The experience a TV viewer has during thisonline information seeking activity has animpact on the viewer’s behavior, including thedecision to watch a show initially as well asloyalty to a TV show throughout the season.For television viewers who go online forinformation on a new show, those who seekinformation pre-season are more likely tobecome regular viewers (19%) versus thosewho seek information after the beginning ofthe season (13%). For current shows, theresults are even more significant, at 70%becoming regular viewers (seeking information
The Internet Has The Power To Transform YourTV Show Into A TV Brand
TV Info Seekers Become Regular Viewers
(Percentage of people who say they watch a showregularly and looked for information about the show)
New ShowCurrent Show
LOOKED FOR INFORMATION PRE-PREMIERELOOKED FOR INFORMATION POST-PREMIERE
Yahoo!, Deep Focus, 2008