COMMERCIAL MEDIA VIEWING HABITS: DIGITAL NATIVES VS.

DIGITAL IMMIGRANTS

Brian J. King

A Thesis

Submitted to the Graduate College of Bowling Green State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTERS OF EDUCATION

December 2009 Committee: Dr. Terry Herman, Advisor Dr. Paul Cesarini Dr. Gary Benjamin

ii

© 2008 - 2009 Brian J. King All Rights Reserved

iii ABSTRACT

Terry Herman, PhD, Advisor

Prior research has proposed that, based on their age, people relate to the contemporary digital environment in different ways. Those under 30 have been in contact with the digital world since birth and use the technology with ease. Those who are 30 and over are immigrants to this technology and adapt at a slower pace as a result. In this thesis, the researcher studied aspects of this digital divide related to the habits of the two groups with regard to commercial media viewing and the importance of various methods to circumvent viewing of commercials when using various viewing modes. The study group was limited to faculty, staff, and students at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. The research employed quantitative analysis of responses to Likert scale survey questions as well as review of qualitative data from open-ended questions. The research considered viewing and circumventing commercials via traditional TV; traditional TV coupled with DVR, TiVo, or similar technologies; and online methods. The research was limited to traditional commercial approaches and did not take into account emerging “pull type” or contextual methods of advertising.

iv

I dedicate this thesis to my parents Mark and Barbara for all their support and belief in my abilities to complete this study, their financial support, their infinite care and love even when times were rough they were by my side to hold me up and to pat me on the back when times were good, to push me along when I was lost and exhausted, and to cheer me on as I near the end of my degree. I additionally dedicate this thesis to my committee for supporting me through each step, my friends and family for cheering me on and pushing me to do my best even when I felt I could not make it to the finish line, I could not have done this without all of you. Thank you.

v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would first like to thank my wonderful family who have supported me every step of the way through all of their financial support, caring hearts, faith in my abilities, establishing a high work ethic and level of dedication to strive to put my best foot forward in all of my activities academic, social, and all other aspects of my life. My family, friends, and my committee have supported me through the procrastination, pushed me to stay dedicated to my goals, stayed up to ensure I kept my eyes open and my fingers on the keyboard through the many sleepless nights. I would like to thank Dr. Terry Herman especially as my committee chair who has dedicated many meetings, phone calls, emails, and even dealing with my deteriorating health that arose during writing this thesis; without her direction and guidance and support I could not have made it to where I am today. The remainder of my committee, Dr. Paul Cesarini and Dr. Gary Benjamin, also deserve to be acknowledged for their support and guidance as I struggled to shape the scope of my thesis. Dr. Robert W. Zhang for assisting in obtaining me the email addresses I needed to complete my survey distribution. Diane Conway my undergraduate statistics teacher for her assistance in analyzing my statistical data from my survey instrument. Lastly I would like to thank all of the assistance from the many brilliant minds that I built my research for this thesis study on such as Prensky, Frand, The Mintel Research Group, and the many other brilliant, sharing, and caring educated minds that have driven me to strive to stay upto-date with all scholarly materials and to strive to contribute to the body of knowledge for the greater good. I could not have completed this thesis without the above people and groups and their knowledge and contributions, among many others whom I may have forgot to mention. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. Thank you.

vi TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................... 1
Background and Context of the Problem.................................................................................................. 1 Statement of the Problem ......................................................................................................................... 3 Objectives of Study .................................................................................................................................. 4 Hypothesis ................................................................................................................................................ 4 Significance of Study................................................................................................................................ 5 Assumptions ............................................................................................................................................. 5 Limitations................................................................................................................................................ 5 Definition of Terms .................................................................................................................................. 6

CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW ....................................................................................... 9
Introduction .............................................................................................................................................. 9 Technological Advancements and Impact to Commercials ..................................................................... 9 Digital Immigrants vs. Digital Natives and Television Commercial Viewing Habits ........................... 12 Literature Review Conclusions .............................................................................................................. 15

CHAPTER III: METHOD ............................................................................................................ 16
Restatement of Problem.......................................................................................................................... 16 Research Design ..................................................................................................................................... 16 Characteristics of Study Population........................................................................................................ 17 Data Collection Instrument..................................................................................................................... 17 Protection of Human Subjects ................................................................................................................ 18 Timeline.................................................................................................................................................. 18

CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS............................................................................................................. 19

vii
Introduction of Survey Instrument.......................................................................................................... 19 Return Rates ........................................................................................................................................... 20 Results .................................................................................................................................................... 21 Viewing Modes....................................................................................................................................... 21 Commercial Circumvention ................................................................................................................... 24

CHAPTER 5: SUMMARY & DISCUSSION.............................................................................. 37
Summary and Conclusions ..................................................................................................................... 37 Implications/Recommendations ............................................................................................................. 40 References .............................................................................................................................................. 42

APPENDIX A: HSRB APPROVAL DOCUMENT..................................................................... 44 APPENDIX B: SURVEY INSTRUMENT .................................................................................. 46 APPENDIX C: RATING SCALE TOOL..................................................................................... 53 APPENDIX D: LIKERT SCALE TREATMENT RATIONALE................................................ 58 APPENDIX E: SURVEY SUMMARY – ALL RESPONDENTS............................................... 63 APPENDIX F: SURVEY RESULTS SUMMARY FOR DIGITAL NATIVES GROUP........... 70 APPENDIX G: SURVEY RESULTS SUMMARY FOR DIGITAL IMMIGRANTS GROUP . 77

viii

LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1 – TV Viewing Modes for Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives – Double Bar Plot Comparing Viewing Modes Utilized by Both Digital Immigrants (n=307) and Digital Natives (n=306) .................................................................................................................... 22 Figure 2 – Online Viewing Hours/Week for Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants (Question 9 of survey instrument) ............................................................................................................ 23 Figure 3 – Viewing of Commercial Media through All Methods – Digital Natives (n=306) (Question 10 of survey instrument) ...................................................................................... 25 Figure 4 – Viewing of Commercial Media through All Methods – Digital Immigrants (n=307) (Question 10 of survey instrument) ...................................................................................... 26 Figure 5 – Question 11 – Digital Natives Circumvention with Traditional Television (n=306) . 28 Figure 6 – Question 11 – Digital Immigrants Circumvention Methods with Traditional Television (n=307)................................................................................................................ 28 Figure 7 – Commercial Circumvention Methods with DVR/TiVo for Digital Natives (Question 12) ........................................................................................................................ 30 Figure 8 – Commercial Circumvention Methods with DVR/TiVo for Digital Immigrants (Question 12) ........................................................................................................................ 30 Figure 9 – Question 13 – Circumvention Methods for Online Viewing for Digital Natives (n=306).................................................................................................................................. 34 Figure 10 – Question 13 – Circumvention Methods for Online Viewing for Digital Immigrants (n=307).................................................................................................................................. 35

ix

LIST OF TABLES Table 1 – Online and Downloadable Video – US – 2007 – Mintel.............................................. 10 Table 2 – Media Centers and Set-top Boxes – US – September 2006 – Mintel........................... 10 Table 3 – Media Centers and Set-top Boxes – US – September 2006 – Mintel........................... 11 Table 4 – Media Centers and Set-top Boxes – US – September 2006 – Mintel........................... 14 Table 5 – Timeline ........................................................................................................................ 18 Table 6 – Survey Recipients and Population Percentages ............................................................ 20 Table 7 – Return Rates and Percentage of Population by Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives ............................................................................................................................................... 20 Table 8 – Chi-Test Comparison for Question 10 – Digital Immigrants (n=307), Digital Natives (n=306).................................................................................................................................. 26 Table 9 – Chi-Test for Question 11 – Traditional Television Circumvention Methods............... 29 Table 10 – Chi-Test Comparison for Question 12 – Commercial Circumvention Methods with DVR/TiVo............................................................................................................................. 31 Table 11 – Use of Rating Values to Discern Relative Importance of Circumvention Methods with DVR/TiVo............................................................................................................................. 32 Table 12 – Chi-Test for Question 13 – Online Media Circumvention Methods .......................... 35

1 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION Background and Context of the Problem Rapid technological development and the immersion of technology into the lives of today’s consumers have created a digital divide between generations. Frand states “most students entering our colleges and universities today are younger than the microcomputer, are more comfortable working on a keyboard than writing in a spiral notebook, and are happier reading from a computer screen than from paper in hand” (Frand, 2000, p. 15). According to Prensky, this gap is created by the rapid distribution and ubiquity of digital technologies in the last decades of the 20th century (2001a). It is important to note that these technologies such as cable television, the Internet, laptop computers, and mobile devices were not always readily available for previous generations. Due to these technological advancements being ever-present in our lives, one may assume differences exist between those who have grown up immersed in the technologies and those who have not been born into this technological immersion. In “Digital Immigrants, Digital Natives,” Prensky (2001a) noted people that are currently in kindergarten through traditional college age have been immersed their entire lives using computers, playing video games, using digital music players, video cameras, cell phones, and the Internet. Today’s average college graduates have spent less than 5,000 hours of their lives reading, over 10,000 hours playing video games, and an incredible 20,000 hours viewing television within the first 20 years of their lives (Prensky, 2001a). These readily available technological advancements from a young age create different experiences, which lead to different brain structures than previous generations that did not have these technological advancements (Prensky, 2001a).

2 Due to fundamental differences between generations, Prensky (2001a, 2001b) stated that for individuals 30 years old and older, not born into technological diffusion a different classification is necessary; Prensky has dubbed this group Digital Immigrants. After all, Prensky asserts that digital natives inherently process information differently then their parents and grandparents. In searching for a proper classification Prensky notes that some people refer to this generation as the net-gen or digital generation although Prensky classifies this generation as Digital Natives. “Our students are all ‘native speakers’ of the digital language of computers, video games, and the Internet” (Prensky, 2001a, p. 1). Prensky classifies the remainder of the population as Digital Immigrants; those who were not born into the technology immersion but at some point may adopt some technologies into their lives. While Prensky discusses the topic of Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives as students, for the context of this study the researcher will refer to these groups as consumers; classified based on their age (under 30 and 30 years of age and over). These two different groups of consumers have various television commercial media viewing and use habits. The Digital Natives for instance have logged an incredible 20,000 hours of watching television within the first 20 years of their lives. How they are viewing television (either through the Internet or traditional television) as well as their viewing habits may be different then the Digital Immigrants. Advertisers producing commercials may find it advisable to address these groups and their unique media viewing habits differently. According to a 2008 United States based Mintel study, age influences respondents’ attitudes towards Internet advertising; respondents aged 18-24 are more likely than over-65s to ‘strongly agree’ with the statement ‘I use a pop-up blocker’ (Mintel, 2008). This finding from Mintel is important to advertisers trying to reach the Digital Natives who appear to be more likely to circumvent

3 viewing of a commercial through the use of a pop-up blocker if they are viewing their television on the Internet through a streaming service such as Hulu.com or a desktop application such as Miro or Boxee. The same Mintel study found that “age plays a role in how respondents consume media; mainly over-65s [sic] are more likely than 18-24s to watch 10 or more hours of network or cable television” (Mintel, 2008). Indicated by this data, Mintel found in a study conducted by Reuters in March 2008 “that nearly half of Americans are turning to the Internet to get their news, and that those aged 18-29 ‘get most of their information online’ compared to 35% of over 65s” (Mintel, 2008). The Internet is not the only force altering the media habits of Digital Immigrants or Digital Natives. Their viewing habits of commercials or perhaps avoidance habits of commercials through other technological advancements such as the DVR, changing the channel, or muting the television or computer also represents issues that advertisers should consider in adjusting their strategies to reach these markets. “When it comes to skipping commercials, age has little influence on a respondent’s response; approximately 66% in each age group use a DVR for this purpose” (Mintel, 2008). Statement of the Problem The problem of this study is to analyze the difference in media and viewing habits of Digital Natives versus Digital Immigrants. The study included an analysis of viewing habits for Digital Natives (under 30 years of age) and Digital Immigrants (those 30 years of age and older) and how they responded to commercial television. Many options exist to consumers when viewing television and commercials; this study aimed to assess the options that consumers have in media viewing mediums (Internet vs. traditional television broadcast) and specifically their viewing habits of commercials.

4 Objectives of Study The objectives of this study were to assess the commercial viewing habits of Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives, to identify trends between the two groups in relation to their commercial viewing habits and the tools and technologies they use or do not use to view televised media (specifically commercials—both traditional and online), and to what length the two consumer groups will go to in order to not be subverted to viewing television commercials as they are traditionally distributed. Circumvention methods used presently include TiVo, iTunes Store, DVR technologies, web-based viewing sites such as Hulu.com, desktop applications such as Boxee and Miro, and downloading through BitTorrent or other peer-to-peer distribution technology. For the purpose of this study the researcher has chosen not to evaluate those means of distribution that exclude commercials from the program, thus BitTorrent, iTunes Store purchases, and DVDs will not be analyzed, although it is important to note that these are current options for the consumer to choose as opposed to traditional television or Internet-based streaming television commercials. Hypothesis The researcher hypothesized that Digital Natives will show a trend of viewing television commercials online through services such as Hulu.com/Hulu Desktop, Boxee, Miro, and others. According to Prensky (2001a, 2001b), Digital Natives are accustomed to using the Internet for their media viewing habits as they will tend to be online. The Digital Immigrants on the other hand will be more likely to view traditional television with different commercial viewing habits than their Digital Native counterparts. This is because “. . . like all immigrants, some better than others—to adapt to their environment, they always retain, to some degree, their ‘accent’ that is, their foot in the past” (Prensky, 2001a, p. 2).

5 Significance of Study Current research shows DVR usage rates and endeavors to assess why the DVR is used, although there are no studies that assess Digital Immigrants versus Digital Natives and to what extent these groups will engage in activity to avoid traditional television commercial viewing. The only research on this topic shows consumer response mainly to what kinds of systems are already implemented and how they co-exist with market forces such as DVR technologies versus commercial viewing. The current state of research in this field reveals a high degree of conflicting research. Evaluating the commercial viewing habits of Digital Immigrants versus Digital Natives and their commercial viewing habits could have major implications and benefits for the market, academic research, and for the consumer. Assumptions The following assumptions are inherent to this study: 1. All data collected from Mintel includes only respondents aged 18 and older which includes both Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants age ranges. The survey instrument collected data from Bowling Green State University undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty and sorted them into the Digital Immigrant or Digital Native grouping. Limitations For the purpose of this study the researcher limited the population that is sampled to Bowling Green State University undergraduate and graduate students and faculty. Due to the rapidly developing literature focused on this topic, the literature review is limited to research and articles conducted prior to May 2009. For the purpose of this study the researcher has chosen not to evaluate means of distribution that exclude commercials from the program. Thus BitTorrent

6 and other peer-to-peer technologies, iTunes Store purchases, and DVDs will not be analyzed. However, it is important to note that these are current options for the consumer to choose as opposed to traditional television or Internet-based streaming television commercials. Definition of Terms The following terms and acronyms are operationally defined below for this study: 1. Digital Immigrants – Those above the age of 30, not born into widespread technological immersion (Prensky, 2001a). 2. Digital Natives – Those under the age of 30 born into technology (Prensky, 2001a). 3. To watch or view a commercial is operationally defined in this study to be engaged in the advertisement through either hearing or vision. a. This excludes any sort of circumvention mechanisms or strategies (DVR fast forward, change the channel, close the browser window, mute the television). 4. Traditional Commercial – For simplicity this term is operationally defined as an advertisement shown in between a segment of traditional television viewed on a television. a. This does not include brief promotions shown at the beginning of a television program promoting what is to be shown after the current program or a promotion for an upcoming televised event or program. 5. Online commercial – This term is operationally defined as an advertisement shown in between a segment of television viewed online through a web

7 browser or desktop application. These advertisements are similar to traditional commercials although they are generally much shorter and less frequent. a. This does not include any browser-based banner advertisements, simply the advertisements that are displayed between the viewing of a television program viewed on the Internet through a web browser or desktop based application. b. This excludes any sort of circumvention mechanisms or strategies (DVR fast forward, change the channel, close the browser window, muting the television). 6. Advertisement – Operationally defined as a commercial (either online or traditional television-based unless otherwise noted). 7. DVR – “A digital video recorder (DVR) or personal video recorder (PVR) is a device that records video in a digital format to a disk drive or other memory medium within a device” (Digital video recorder, 2009). 8. VCR – “The videocassette recorder (or VCR, more commonly known in the UK and Ireland as the video recorder), is a type of video tape recorder that uses removable videotape cassettes containing magnetic tape to record audio and video from a television broadcast so it can be played back later. Most VCRs have their own tuner (for direct TV reception) and a programmable timer (for unattended recording of a certain channel at a particular time)” (Videocassette recorder, 2009). 9. CD/DVD Burner – “In computing, an optical disc drive (ODD) is a disk drive that uses laser light or electromagnetic waves near the light spectrum as part

8 of the process of reading and writing data. Some drives can only read from discs, but commonly drives are both readers and recorders. Recorders are sometimes called burners or writers. Compact discs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs are common types of optical media which can be read and recorded by such drives” (Optical disc drive, 2009, para. 1). 10. TiVo – “TiVo [sic] is the pioneer of the digital video recorder (DVR). TiVo was introduced in the United States, and is now available in Canada, Mexico, Australia, and Taiwan. [sic] TiVo DVRs provide an electronic television programming schedule, and provide features such as Season Pass recordings (which ensure subscribers never miss an episode of their favorite shows) and WishList searches (which allow the user to find and record shows that match their interests by title, actor, director, category, or keyword). TiVo also provides a range of features when the TiVo DVR is connected to a home network, including movie and TV show downloads, advanced search, personal photo viewing, music offerings, and online scheduling” (TiVo, 2009, para. 1).

9 CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction The purpose of this literature review is multi-faceted; each particular section has a particular purpose dedicated to the literature currently available. First, it examined the current technological advancements in television (specifically commercials) distribution, viewing, and now circumventing. Second, it provided an evaluation of the differences in viewing habits for television and commercials specifically between Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants. Third, the literature review provided analysis and insight to marketers to more effectively target and engage consumers through television commercial distribution. Technological Advancements and Impact on Commercials Technological advancements such as the invention of the VCR, CD and DVD burners, the Internet, and DVRs all have had dramatic impacts on the market. These technological advancements have altered media viewing habits and have troubled advertisers trying to reach and engage their target market. According to a 2004 Mintel USA-based study, “Concerns over skipping advertisements were raised with the emergence of the VCR, and the industry may see changes in advertising with the proliferation of DVRs that are more consequential than the impact of the VCR. DVRs are more user-friendly than VCRs and have enormous capacity” (Mintel, 2004). In addition to DVRs, other forces such as the Internet have altered the media habits of consumers. Websites such as Hulu.com and desktop applications such as Boxee and Miro have full length television episodes available free of charge on demand with short advertisement clips shown during the broadcast. According to Bulik of Advertising Age, “Now, thanks to a confluence of factors—ubiquitous broadband, changing viewer habits, and cheaper tech parts—

10 Internet TV is on the verge of a breakout” (Bulik, 2009). According to a 2007 USA Mintel study, “86% of the sample stated that watching TV shows on demand was a key reason why they wanted to purchase a DVR” (Mintel, 2007). This statistic regarding why the consumer owns or plans to purchase a DVR still forecasts that consumers’ media habits are altering and converging towards online viewing of television programs on demand utilizing a DVR service or streaming service such as Hulu. Additionally, the Mintel study shown below (Table 1) is significant because it conflicts with the Mintel report Attitudes Towards Advertising and Media – US – April 2008 findings regarding DVRs and why they are used. “A study released by Mediamark Research reports DVR users are more affluent and consume more media” (Pavlik, 2008, p. 42). Base: 1460 Internet users (18+) who own or plan to purchase DVR Total % Watch TV shows when I want 86 Skip commercials 43 Watch TV shows repeatedly 24 Other 5 Table 1 – Online and Downloadable Video: US, 2007, Mintel. Pavlik (2008) states that DVR users are more affluent and consume more media; while affluence is not an aspect of the study, the media consumption and viewing habits are. Mintel reports in a 2006 study based on 2,000 adults aged 18+ the following data: All % 18-24 % 25-34 % 35-44 % 45-54 % 55-64 % 65+ % 31

Yes 37 34 37 37 40 38 Table 2 – Media Centers and Set-top Boxes: US, September 2006, Mintel.

“Age plays a role in the ownership of a DVR in that over-65s are significantly less likely than their younger counterparts to own such a device. This is not entirely surprising, as older respondents may be somewhat uncomfortable, perhaps even intimidated, with new technologies and be content with using technologies with which they are familiar, such as a VCR” (Mintel,

11 2006). This conclusion from Mintel agrees with Prensky who states “The ‘digital immigrant accent’ can be seen in such things as turning to the Internet for information second rather than first, or in reading the manual for a program rather than assuming the program itself will teach us how to use it” (Prensky, 2001a, p. 2). The technological advancement of the DVR allows for time-shifted television viewing which allows consumers to watch not only what they want, but also when they want. Mintel found in their Online and Downloadable Video – US – October 2007 study that for 86% of their respondents that own or plan on purchasing a DVR, this is the most reported reason for having or planning to purchase a DVR (Mintel, 2007). Along with this time shifted viewing also comes easier circumvention of commercial viewing through fast-forwarding through the recorded television, thus allowing the consumer to circumvent the commercials if they opt to do so. With the Mintel report findings from online and downloadable video, it is not surprising to find this time-shift in viewing habits (Mintel, 2007). In a 2006 Mintel report entitled Media Centers and Set-top Boxes, a survey of 731 adults aged 18+ who live in a household that owns a DVR showed the following statistics in time-shifted viewing habits: Base: 731 adults aged 18+ whose household owns a DVR or PVR All 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 % % % % %

55-64 %

65+ % 53 20 8 8 11

0-6 hours 48 50 35 49 51 55 7-13 24 23 34 26 21 19 hours 14-20 13 13 18 11 11 14 hours 21+ hours 8 7 9 7 10 4 Not sure 7 7 4 8 6 8 Table 3 – Media Centers and Set-top Boxes: US, September 2006, Mintel.

12 “Across all age groups the propensity is to watch up to 6 hours of recorded/time-shifted TV per week with every age group, except those aged 25-34, including approximately 50% of their respondents falling into this category of usage per week. Those respondents aged 25-34 are more likely to watch 7 or more hours of recorded/time-shifted TV per week than any other age group” (Mintel, 2006). These findings regarding time shifted media viewing do not state that the consumer altered their viewing habits to specifically circumvent commercial viewing; although it is important to note that Mintel found that 43% of consumers that own or plan to own a DVR wish to use it to circumvent commercial viewing (Mintel, 2007). According to Bulik of Advertising Age, discussing what will breakout the TV to the Internet, “This time, though, consumer demand could reach the tipping point. Some 2.5 million households would be willing to pay $100 more for a web-connected TV, according to a recent Parks Associates’ study” (Bulik, 2009). This finding from Bulik illustrates the trend of television moving online and consumers’ media viewing habits are thus altered due to the technological advancements and the opportunities they created. Digital Immigrants vs. Digital Natives and Television Commercial Viewing Habits As Prensky (2001a, 2001b), Frand (2000), and others have found, there are major differences between Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives in terms of how they obtain, process, and utilize information. Advertisers should also shift their strategies to target these two groups and how they market their particular product or service to them. According to a 2008 United States study conducted by Mintel, “gender and age play a role in what types of media respondents consume and in what quantities” (Mintel, 2008). While gender and age play a role in the type of media and the quantity of media consumed, the desire to circumvent a commercial is unaffected according to Mintel. “When it comes to skipping commercials, age has little influence

13 on a respondent’s response; approximately 66% in each age group use a DVR for this purpose” (Mintel, 2008). Massive DVR adoption with both Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives to circumvent the viewing of commercials should provide an analysis of why these advertisements are being circumvented and how to best reach these DVR users. Graham (2009) in Why TV Lost claims convergence between the television and the Internet created four forces that impacted these changes. The first force that Graham discusses is that the Internet is an open platform. “Anyone can build whatever they want on it, and the market picks the winners. So innovation happens at hacker speeds instead of big company speeds” (Graham, 2009). Graham’s point regarding the rate of innovation is particularly important regarding the Digital Native group (under 30 years of age) as Prensky (2001a) notes Digital Natives move at “twitch speed.” “They are used to the instantaneity of hypertext, downloaded music, phones in their pockets, a library on their laptops, beamed messages, and instant messaging” (Prensky, 2001a, p. 3). Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants both have television and commercial viewing or circumventing habits that will be evaluated in the survey instrument; one important note regarding the Digital Native group is the rate of information they consume and number of tasks they process in parallel. According to an Advertising Age report on Digital Natives. “... navigating electronic programming guides, performing music downloads, and burning CDs is second nature to them. So it’s not surprising that 75% of 1,219 Gen Y participants in a recent survey said they multi-task while watching TV” (Elkin & Kerwin, 2003). The results do not state specifically that Digital Natives circumvent commercials by viewing television programs and commercials online; nor does it state that Digital Immigrants are less likely to view television programs and commercials online. According to a 2006 Mintel USA-based study on Media Centers and Set-top Boxes, they found

14 that “Younger respondents are significantly more likely than older respondents to stream video and audio content [sic]. In fact, 14% of respondents aged 18-24 and 11% of respondents aged 2534 take advantage of this functionality, compared to 4% of respondents aged 55-64 and 6% of over-65s” (Mintel, 2006).

Base: 2,000 adults aged 18+ (Streaming of video and audio content, by age, July 2006) All 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ % % % % % % % Yes 8 14 11 5 10 4 Table 4 – Media Centers and Set-Top Boxes: US, September 2006, Mintel. 6

As Prensky (2001a, 2001b) and Frand (2000) have stated, Digital Natives are born into ubiquitous technological immersion. Mintel additionally asserted that these statistics regarding streaming of audio and video content are not surprising. “These responses come as no surprise, in that younger respondents have grown up with computers, VCRs, portable music players, and other such multimedia devices. As a consequence, they are more likely to be comfortable and familiar with the technology, and more eager than older respondents to use it to the fullest in their homes” (Mintel, 2006). A 2009 study conducted by the Leichtman research group on online video usage found that “While weekly online TV show viewers spend twice as much time online per day as the average adult, they are also more likely than average to subscribe to a premium service, have digital cable, use on-Demand, have an HDTV, and subscribe to a bundle of services from a single provider” (Leichtman, 2009). This data collected by the Leichtman Research Group shows a growth in online media viewing habits although no strong data to support cutting of traditional television viewing. Additionally, the same Leichtman research group study found that “8% of adults who watch video online strongly agree that they now watch TV less often, while 75% strongly disagree whereas 18% of teens who watch video online

15 strongly agree that they now watch TV less often, while 61% strongly disagree” (Leichtman, 2009). Literature Review Conclusions The current state of research on Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives and their media habits (Internet versus traditional television) as well as their viewing habits of commercials is in need of further investigation. Prensky (2001a, 2001b) and Frand (2000) mainly discuss the implications of Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants and the differences that exist between the generations in the scope of education and learning. This scope needs to be broadened and encompass more than just the field of education and learning. Data regarding media habits and viewing habits of these Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants has differing data sets about DVR usage; even Mintel has reports with differing statistics regarding commercial viewing habits and DVR usage. Additionally data from companies such as Hulu.com needs to be available for academic use; although the researcher hopes that the data that is collected in this study will provide a more informed and streamlined set of findings regarding Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants and their media and viewing habits.

16 CHAPTER III: METHOD This chapter includes a restatement of the problem, research design, characteristics of the sample population for the research study, how the data will be collected and verified, and lastly, a review and approval of the human studies research board and the protection of the participants in this study. Restatement of Problem The problem of this study is to analyze the difference in media and viewing habits of Digital Natives versus Digital Immigrants. The study included an analysis of viewing habits for Digital Natives (under 30 years of age) and Digital Immigrants (those 30 years of age and older) and how they responded to commercial television. Many options exist to consumers when viewing television and commercials; this study aimed to assess the options that consumers have in media viewing mediums (Internet vs. traditional television broadcast) and specifically their viewing habits of commercials. Research Design The research design of this study utilized descriptive statistics collected through the use of a researcher created survey instrument. A survey was distributed online to Digital Natives and to Digital Immigrants of the Bowling Green State University faculty, staff, and students using a quantitative descriptive statistical analysis. The survey featured a Likert-style scale that measured how the two groups, Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants, differed in their commercial viewing habits, and what technologies and methods are being used to view, ignore, or otherwise circumvent commercials (media habits). The survey included questions to determine which group the respondent belonged to (Digital Immigrant or Digital Native) and then analyzed to what level each technology option (or simply the walking away, muting,

17 changing channel option) is utilized by the population studied. The survey also included questions to reveal the importance or unimportance of commercial television viewing and to what extent groups of the study’s population do or do not use methods of circumventing the viewing of commercials. The study is mixed-method with quantitative data collection as well as qualitative trend analysis between the Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives in the study population. According to Fraenkel and Wallen in How to Design and Evaluate Research in Education, 2nd Edition, “Quantitative data are obtained when the variable being studied is measured along a scale that indicates ‘how much’ of the variable is present” (Fraenkel and Wallen, 1993, p. 127). Characteristics of Study Population The study population is split into two groups, Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants. According to Prensky (2001a, 2001b), Digital Natives are people that were raised surrounded by ubiquitous technologies and digital media. As a result, their brains are wired differently than Digital Immigrants and other previous generations. Digital Immigrants, according to Prensky, are those that are not born natively using ubiquitous and constantly available on-demand technologies (2001a, 2001b). For example, a Digital Immigrant would generally rather print out a document to edit it as opposed to editing it online (Prensky, 2001a, p. 4). Data Collection Instrument The data was collected through the use of a researcher created survey instrument and delivered through Survey Monkey. The data was analyzed through the use of descriptive quantitative statistical analysis as well as a qualitative trend analysis. The survey is anonymous and utilized screening questions to determine to which group, Digital Natives or Digital Immigrants, the participant belongs.

18 Protection of Human Subjects The proper certification and procedure based on the rules set forth by the Human Subjects Review Board (HSRB) at Bowling Green State University has been completed and compiled for this study. The certification document can be found as part of the appendices following Chapter V (see Appendix A). Timeline Table 5 shown below is the tentative timeline for the research study to be completed. Date 16 April 2009 29 May 2009 Task Thesis proposal defended and approved. Survey instrument developed, tested, approved for HSRB use, and disseminated to Bowling Green State University students, faculty, and staff. 15 June 2009 – 20 June 2009 21 June 2009 – 17 July 2009 Data collection from survey instrument. Survey instrument data analyzed and chapters 4 and 5 of thesis document written. Thesis defense scheduled for 30 July 2009. 9 August 2009 Completed thesis defense, submitted to OhioLink EDT for December 2009 graduation. Table 5 – Timeline

19 CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS Introduction of Survey Instrument The survey instrument was created and distributed to 16,975 Bowling Green State University students and 2,808 faculty and staff, for a total population of 19,783. The survey was distributed via email, through a commercial service known as Survey Monkey. The survey was distributed between 15 June 2009 and 20 June 2009. The survey collected 653 responses total although only 613 of the respondents completed the survey. The survey relied on Likert scale questions, predominantly. There were a few options for open ended responses as well. The survey instrument is included in the appendices (see Appendix B). The categorization of respondents as Bowling Green State University faculty or staff members versus students is not a defining characteristic for the purpose of this study. It was mainly utilized to normalize the population that was sampled. The respondents’ age ranges determined if they are categorized as a Digital Native or Digital Immigrant. The distribution of respondents in the Digital Natives group and the Digital Immigrants group in the responding population was almost equal. Digital Natives provided 306 complete responses. Digital Immigrants provided 307 complete responses. Once the respondents were categorized into these two key groups then their commercial media viewing habits and circumvention methods were analyzed. The analysis primarily used quantitative data but some qualitative responses were also included in the survey and aided in the assessment of each group’s behaviors.

20 Return Rates The following Tables 6 and 7 categorize the survey recipients and respondents and summarize the response rates:
Survey Recipients
Recipient Category BGSU Student BGSU Faculty or Staff Total Total 16,975 2,808 19,783 Respondents 387 266 653 % of Population 2.3% 9.5% 3.3%

Table 6 – Survey Recipients and Population Percentages
Survey Respondents
Respondent Categorization Digital Natives Digital Immigrants Total Characteristic Number of Age Group Complete Responses 18 to 29 years 306 30+ years 307 613 % of Total Population 1.5% 1.6% 3.1% Students Faculty Staff

Number % of total Number % of total Number % of total 287 93.8% 4 1.3% 15 4.9% 73 23.8% 105 34.2% 129 42.0% 360 58.7% 109 17.8% 144 23.5%

Table 7 – Return Rates and Percentage of Population by Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives The return rate for the survey was low compared to the overall Bowling Green State University population sampled. The return rate with 653 respondents is 3.3%. With 40 respondents failing to complete the survey, the net response rate is reduced to 3.1 %. The low return rate is predominantly due to low response on the part of students. That may be attributed to the fact that the survey was distributed during summer semester when many of the students are not as likely to check their Bowling Green State University email accounts, unless they are enrolled in summer courses. The response rate from faculty and staff, who are mainly categorized in the Digital Immigrants group (30+ years of age), is much higher than for students. That might be attributed to faculty and staff generally being more likely to be on campus and using their University email accounts during summer sessions. They may also be more inclined than students to contribute to furthering academic knowledge and research endeavors, especially when the principal investigator is a student of Bowling Green State University.

21 We see that the Digital Native group is largely students with a few staff members and very few faculty members. The Digital Immigrants do include a reasonable number of students but are dominated by faculty and staff. Interestingly, the number of responses from both principal categories was nearly equal with 306 Digital Natives and 307 Digital Immigrants completing their surveys. Results The results of the survey will be discussed with the focus on the two groups, Digital Immigrants or Digital Natives, as stated in Chapter 3. The assessment of differences and similarities between the Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives groups is central to the objectives of the study and the hypothesis made in Chapter 1. The assessments will be reviewed with a focus on two topics, viewing modes and circumvention measures. Viewing Modes The researcher hypothesized that Digital Natives would be more likely than Digital Immigrants to view commercial media and television through online viewing methods (Hulu.com/Boxee/Miro) and that Digital Immigrants would be more likely to view commercial media and television on traditional TV. The points made by Prensky, Mintel, and Frand, among others, backed that hypothesis. When the 613 survey respondents replied to Question 3 of the researcher created survey instrument, “How do you currently consume commercial media? (Select all that apply) (Please refer to definition of terms for operational definitions), the results in Figure 1 below were realized.

22

Figure 1. TV Viewing Modes for Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives – Double Bar Plot Comparing Viewing Modes Utilized by Both Digital Immigrants (n=307) and Digital Natives (n=306) The results in Figure 1 indicate that traditional television is the most widely used mode for both groups. The percent of Digital Immigrants using traditional TV (84%) does exceed the percent for Digital Natives (77.5%). The figure also shows that Digital Natives are more than twice as likely to use online viewing via services like Hulu.com, Boxee, and Miro with a value of 57.2% for Digital Natives compared to 26.1% for the Digital Immigrants. These results affirm the researcher’s stated hypotheses regarding viewing modes. Additional evidence affirming the researcher’s hypothesis that online viewing is more frequently utilized by the Digital Natives than the Digital Immigrants comes from review of results for survey instrument Question 9 regarding the “Number of Hours of Commercial Media

23 Viewed per week? (Online viewing only through Hulu.com/Boxee/Miro).” The results are shown below in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Online viewing hours/week for Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants (Question 9 of survey instrument) The percentage of Digital Natives choosing each of the “certain” time categories surpasses the reported percentages for Digital Immigrants. The only category where Digital Immigrants exceed the Digital Natives is the “not sure” option. This leaves one to question, “Why did the respondents choose the ’not sure’ category?” Were they unsure of when they were viewing with these services, or do they not feel they can tally the time they spend using that method of viewing? The researcher can only speculate and relies on the “certain” categories to declare that the Digital Natives report higher frequencies for each time category.

24 Commercial Circumvention Another aspect of the objectives of the study was to assess how important it is to each group to circumvent viewing of commercials and the lengths to which the two groups will go in order to circumvent viewing a commercial when viewing via various modes. The survey tool was designed to distinguish between various viewing media such as traditional television, traditional television with DVR/TiVo, and online viewing. To properly analyze this data the researcher chose to exclude the respondents that replied “N/A (I don’t have or use this service)”. These results would distort the data. Only the percentages for the various methods for those that actually utilize a particular service, such as DVR/TiVo, are important. If you do not have a DVR/TiVo, for instance, then “how important” or “how unimportant” the use of it to circumvent viewing a commercial is irrelevant. To analyze the data, the researcher developed adjusted data tables reflecting the respondents who had the services and compared the results of each group to see if the groups reported behavior that was the same or different. Quantitative statistical analysis was utilized. The calculation of chi-test probability values (p), based on chi-squared values and degrees of freedom, was conveniently accomplished in Microsoft Excel. The selection of a probability value limit of 0.05 was elected to give 95% confidence limits. When p values of less than 0.05 are obtained, it indicates the two groups are different. Values above 0.05 indicate the two groups are statistically indistinguishable, with values of 1 showing essentially identical results. This type of analysis fulfilled the objective to study in a quantitative way the importance of circumventing viewing a commercial and to determine whether each group uses similar methods to circumvent when using particular media viewing methods (traditional television, traditional television with DVR/TiVo, and online commercial media viewing). Additionally,

25 Questions 11, 12, and 13 included qualitative open-ended responses that will be categorized based on respondents and will be discussed in the body text of this analysis. In Chapter 3 it was indicated that this study is mixed-method (including quantitative and quantitative data collection and analysis). Question 10 of the survey instrument asked, “When viewing commercial media through the following methods how important is circumventing viewing a commercial?” The data developed here is useful because it provides insight into the importance of circumventing viewing an advertisement with each commercial media viewing method and fulfills an aspect of the objectives of the study. Figures 3 and 4 display the results for importance of circumventing commercials for the groups of Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants when using various viewing media and can be found below.

Figure 3. Viewing of Commercial Media through All Methods – Digital Natives (n=306) (Question 10 of survey instrument)

26

Figure 4. Viewing of Commercial Media through All Methods – Digital Immigrants (n=307) (Question 10 of survey instrument) The quantitative results were developed as previously described. They are summarized in Table 8 below. The final “interpretation” is shown in the last column of Table 8 (Summary of Group Comparisons using Chi-Test for Question 10). The researcher found that the two groups are the same with regard to the importance of circumvention when viewing through traditional television or online commercial media.
Summary of Group Comparisons using ChiTest - Digital Natives versus Digital Immigrants
Viewing Mode Chi Squared Traditional Television 1.7538 Traditional Television with DVR / TiVo 19.1429 On-Line Viewing 1.1806 d.f. 4 4 4 ChiTest "p" value 0.7809 0.0007 0.8813 Interpretation Groups are the same. Groups are different. Groups are the same.

Table 8 – Chi-Test Comparison for Question 10 – Digital Immigrants (n=307), Digital Natives (n=306) Questions 11 to 13 dealt with the methods utilized to circumvent the advertisements. They strive to fulfill another objective of the study, which is in regards to what length consumers will go to in order to avoid an advertisement.

27 Question 11 of the researcher created survey instrument asked, “When viewing commercial media on traditional television how do you circumvent viewing commercials?” This question received 26 open-ended responses from the Digital Natives and 26 from the Digital Immigrants; the researcher chose to categorize these responses into categories to discuss the qualitative data trend analysis. For the Digital Immigrants qualitative data (n=26), 11 respondents stated that they do some form of reading; 3 respondents reported some form of Internet, Facebook, or email use; and the remaining 12 respondents were grouped into a multitask or complete another task category. The Digital Natives open-ended qualitative responses (n=26) had a slightly different distribution in their trends when the researcher categorized them for trend analysis. The Digital Natives reported 2 respondents that do some form of reading to circumvent the commercial; 4 respondents utilized the Internet, email, or Facebook; and the remaining 20 respondents fell into the multitask category with responses ranging from doing homework, obtaining food, using the restroom, socializing with friends that are also viewing the program, and cleaning. Overall the two groups reported the same number of qualitative responses (n=26) and have almost identical circumvention habits through their qualitative (other category) responses. Below in Figures 5 and 6 the significance of the quantitative data findings will be discussed.

28

Figure 5. Question 11 – Digital Natives Circumvention with Traditional Television (n=306)

Figure 6. Question 11 – Digital Immigrants Circumvention Methods with Traditional Television (n=307)

29

Table 9 – Chi-Test for Question 11 – Traditional Television Circumvention Methods The chi-test p values determine that the Digital Natives are different than the Digital Immigrants for all three options. This only shows that the distribution of responses is different between the respondents for each choice. There is more to be learned by looking at the “ratings” for each category. The importance of ratings (essentially the mean value of the response) is described in the appendices (see Appendix C). Since both the Digital Immigrants and the Digital Natives utilize all three options to circumvent traditional television commercials, the researcher compared the relative importance of the methods. The “mute TV” option rating for both the Digital Natives (n=280, rating=0.26) and Digital Immigrants (n=275, rating=0.35) show it was the least important circumvention method for traditional television. The options of “Channel Surf/Change Channel” (Digital Natives n=287, rating=0.61; Digital Immigrants n=285, rating=0.51) and “Walk away from TV” (Digital Natives n=281, rating=0.50; Digital Immigrants n=278, rating=0.47) both have ratings that for using these means of commercial circumvention that are between “occasionally” to “often” values for the Digital Immigrants and the Digital Natives. Overall the researcher gets the impression that Digital Immigrants are more likely to mute and are less likely to channel surf or walk away from the TV with this mode of viewing. Question 12 of the survey instrument asked, “When viewing commercial media on traditional television with a DVR/TiVo how do you circumvent viewing commercials?” The results are displayed in Figures 7 and 8, which are shown below.

30

Figure 7. Commercial Circumvention Methods with DVR/TiVo for Digital Natives (Question 12)

Figure 8. Commercial Circumvention Methods with DVR/TiVo for Digital Immigrants (Question 12)

31

Summary of Group Comparisons using ChiTest - Digital Natives versus Digital Immigrants
Circumvent Mode Mute TV Channel Surf Walk Away Fast Forward with DVR / TiVo Time Shift and Fast Forward with DVR / TiVo Chi Squared 17.999 5.621 10.880 5.791 1.382 d.f. 3 3 3 3 3 ChiTest "p" value Interpretation 0.0004 Groups are different. 0.1316 Groups are the same. 0.0124 Groups are different. 0.1222 Groups are the same. 0.7098 Groups are the same.

Table 10 – Chi-Test Comparison for Question 12 – Commercial Circumvention Methods with DVR/TiVo In Question 10 regarding the importance of circumvention of commercials for various viewing modes, we see that for the DVR/TiVo viewing method the importance rating of “very important” is the most frequent response option for both groups (43.6% for Digital Natives, 57.6% for the Digital Immigrants). This shows advancements in the acceptance rate of these new technologies for the Digital Immigrants. As their old technologies become obsolete or broken they reach out to newer technologies such as the DVR/TiVo. They begin utilizing these features to circumvent viewing commercials or time-shift their viewing. As shown in Figures 1 and 2, Digital Natives continue to advance with new technological advancements and distribution methods and are now viewing commercial media online much more frequently then their counterparts. When assessing how the Digital Immigrants (n=307) and Digital Natives (n=306) circumvent viewing commercials with a DVR/TiVo (Question 12 of survey instrument), there were several interesting qualitative as well as quantitative points to be made. The survey gave six options: 1. Mute TV 2. Channel surf/Change Channel 3. Walk away from TV 4. DVR/TiVo program and fast-forward through commercials

32 5. DVR/TiVo program for time shifted viewing and fast forward through commercials 6. Other Despite this range of options the only ones that appear important with this viewing mode, for either the Digital Immigrants or Digital Natives, are the options that include a DVR/TiVo related option of fast-forwarding—options 4 and 5. The other options are low on a relative basis. If the respondent has a DVR/TiVo then the added commercial circumvention options that it provides are the ones that either group apparently chooses to circumvent. This view is supported by the rating tool which is described in the appendices (see Appendix C). The rating values for the various options are shown in Table 11 below. What this shows is that there are various circumvention methods that are not statistically the same but they are so relatively unimportant as to be discounted in the discussions. The key methods are numbers 4 and 5. Both are related to fast forwarding and circumventing the commercials, a feature unique to the technology, and they dominate as circumvention methods. The survey results for Digital Immigrants and the Digital Natives are found to be the same by the chi-test results for these two methods.
Question 12: Interpretation of Data using Rating Values as the first step to screen results. What is the importance of various methods of Circumventing Commercial Media when viewing with DVR / TiVo # Method of Circumvention Description Rating of Method by Digital Status Digital Natives Digital Immigrants 0.09 0.26 0.21 0.78 0.45 0.19 0.32 0.25 0.73 0.49 Interpretation Method is ... relatively unimportant for both groups. somewhat important but less so than fast forwarding using DVR / Tivo somewhat important but less so than fast forwarding using DVR / Tivo most important for users with DVR / TiVo capabilities relatively important for users with DVR / TiVo capabilities

1 Mute TV 2 Wake Away from TV 3 Channel Surf / Change Channel Use DVR / TiVo to fast forward: 4 without time shifting 5 with time shifting

Table 11 – Use of Rating Values to Discern Relative Importance of Circumvention Methods with DVR/TiVo

Qualitative data was also collected in this question. Four respondents provided data from each group. Digital Immigrant respondents said they utilize eyeTV (a product similar to a DVR

33 set-top box or a TiVo), they view with their mother who has a DVR then they fast-forward through the advertisements, that when commercials come on they divert their attention from their television program to another task, or that they forget to fast-forward and view the advertisements anyway. For the Digital Natives there were also four respondents that utilized the “other” field and reported qualitative categorical data: That there is no point in circumventing through muting TV because they can simply fast-forward through the advertisements; another stated that they check their cell phone, email, etc. while partially directing their attention to the commercials; read or do another activity; and the last respondent stated that they generally play on the computer. Due to the relatively low number of respondents that provided qualitative data for this question, the researcher reported the data “as is” because there was not enough data collected to complete a comprehensive trend analysis or categorizing the responses. In Question 13 of the survey instrument the respondents were asked, “When viewing commercial media online through Hulu.com, Boxee, or Miro how do you circumvent viewing commercials?” The Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants were found to be the same when assessing their p-values and chi-test results in their online viewing circumvention habits. This is not surprising as the Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives were found to be the same for Question 10’s “Online Commercial Media Viewing” category regarding the importance of circumventing viewing a commercial through this particular distribution method. The circumvention methods for online viewing in Question 13 of the survey instrument were “Mute viewing device (Computer/Computer attached to Television)” and “Walk away from viewing device (Computer/Computer attached to television).” For both the Digital Natives and the Digital Immigrants the rating frequency of circumventing of these two options tended to generally fall into the “Never” or “Occasionally” category with very low percentages falling into the “Often”

34 or “Always” options. Despite that the Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants are statistically the same with p-values greater than 0.05, neither circumvention method was very important to either group as is shown in Figures 9 and 10 below.

Figure 9. Question 13 – Circumvention Methods for Online Viewing for Digital Natives (n=306)

35

Figure 10. Question 13 – Circumvention Methods for Online Viewing for Digital Immigrants (n=307)

Table 12 – Chi-Test for Question 13 – Online Media Circumvention Methods The researcher hypothesized that Digital Natives would be more likely to utilize newer technologies and view their media online more frequently than their counterpart the Digital Immigrants. This is clearly illustrated in Figure 2. From the ratings in Figures 9 and 10 above for Question 13, the researcher was able to draw the conclusion that neither walking away nor muting their viewing device when viewing online was utilized often or always. The ratings for each of the options are low indicating that neither option was particularly important. Table 12 shows that despite the low level of importance both the Digital Immigrants and the Digital Natives utilized the circumvention methods in a similar fashion.

36 Question 13 additionally collected qualitative data that has been categorized into groups for trend analysis. The Digital Immigrants had 20 qualitative responses in the “other” field and the Digital Natives had 28 qualitative responses. The categorical qualitative data was categorized for both groups into “Other Task,” “New Tab/Browser/Other task on Computer,” “Turn Down/Ignore/Mute,” and “Irrelevant.” The irrelevant category was created because there were respondents that included qualitative data referring to the Mozilla Firefox AdBlock plugin (that does not work for these types of commercials), asked “what ads?” or stated that “they simply do not view online” among other comments not relevant to the survey question nor the overall scope of the study. The Digital Immigrants (n=20) gave qualitative responses as follows: for “other task” n=2, “new tab/browser window/other computer task” n=11, “Turn down/ignore/mute” n=3, and “irrelevant” n=4. The Digital Natives (n=28 qualitative responses) for “other task” n=2, “new tab/window/other computer task” n=19, “turn down/mute/ignore” n=2, and “irrelevant” n=5. The qualitative categorical data provided for this online viewing method provided similar data for the Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives. This is not surprising as both of the quantitative choices for this question had p-values larger than 0.05 which means that the Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives are statistically the same in their commercial media circumvention when viewing online. Although neither of the two choices or the qualitative data provided any real significant insights, it is clear that circumventing viewing a commercial on traditional television or traditional television with DVR/TiVo is much more important and frequently occurring then viewing online.

37

CHAPTER 5: SUMMARY & DISCUSSION In this chapter there is a summary of the overall findings and conclusions from the survey instrument, an analysis of how the findings relate to the researcher stated hypothesis and the fulfillment of the objectives of the study, and lastly implications and recommendations for future studies. Summary and Conclusions Contemporary researchers have proposed that there is a digital divide in regards to how people view commercial media and how they might circumvent commercials when viewing with different media. The divide is proposed to be age based. Younger people have grown up in a digital environment where they have always been familiar with technology like cable television, the Internet, laptop computers, and mobile communications devices that were not known by previous generations when at the same stage in life. Understanding the differences in behavior between the two groups may be of benefit to marketers as well as consumers. This effort could also form an interesting academic foundation to predict how emerging technologies might develop. The emerging technologies will rely on new approaches to present commercial media on a basis that is more adaptable to the interest of the viewers. Past research led to the hypotheses regarding commercial viewing habits and circumvention being dependent on grouping of people into two groups, Digital Natives, who are by definition between 18 to 29 years old, and Digital Immigrants, who are 30 or more years old. The researcher proposed that Digital Natives would view less traditional TV and use more online viewing than Digital Immigrants. The researcher additionally proposed that the two groups

38 would assign different importance to circumvention of commercials and would use different techniques to circumvent commercials depending on the type of viewing media. The researcher distributed a researcher developed survey instrument to 19,783 Bowling Green State University students, faculty, and staff who were contacted by way of email. The survey design was developed to collect both quantitative and qualitative data and relied on 13 questions which were primarily based on Likert style responses with some open ended questions included. The overall response rate to the survey was relative low at just over 3%. It was especially clear that this was related to poor participation by students who form the larger portion of the population included in the survey pool. They only participated at 2.3% rate. That was not bothersome because the basis of classification of respondents was age and several older students helped round out the Digital Immigrant class while some faculty and staff were in the Digital Native group. The number of respondents in each group was nearly equal with 307 Digital Immigrants and 306 Digital Natives replying in full. The study’s first finding was consistent with the hypothesis. The Digital Immigrants were 8% more likely than Digital Natives to view traditional TV and Digital Natives were about 120% more likely to view media online than Digital Immigrants. The secondary finding related to importance of circumventing commercial media. The groups were found to give similar importance to circumvention of commercials when using traditional TV and online viewing but the results were clearly different for traditional TV with DVR/TiVo. This final step was to look at the importance of several techniques used to circumvent when viewing via the various modes.

39 When considering viewing with traditional TV, the results showed that the three modes of circumvention were assessed to have different distributions of importance. Despite that finding, both groups showed higher importance for channel surfing and walking away from the TV but low importance for muting the TV. In the case of DVR/TiVo, two additional methods of circumvention are added to those available for traditional TV. The methods used for commercial TV were found to be unimportant compared to the added methods for this mode, fast forwarding with and without time shifting. Qualitative results reinforced this as well. The distribution of importance for the fast forwarding options was found to be the same for each group. When it came to online viewing, one of the more contemporary options, which is much more frequently used by the Digital Natives, the two options of muting or walking away from the program were found to be of low importance. The two groups responded with similar distribution of importance however. The qualitative data showed that the preferred method of circumvention for online viewers was a multitude of multi-tasking options. Since online viewing is done with the computer, it is easy to shift to email, the Internet, or other diversions compared to other methods of viewing. A larger sample population and one outside of Bowling Green State University faculty, staff, and students may have provided more valuable insights into the commercial media viewing habits for the Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives. Additionally, expanding the scope of the study to a larger population would make the researcher collected data more easily compared and contrasted to the data found through Mintel and other research groups. An additional scrutiny based on gender might be interesting in future work.

40 Diffusion of the technology and lowered production price of services such as DVR/TiVo set-top boxes and perhaps the affluence of the population sampled makes Prensky’s statement regarding digital immigrants who “... like all immigrants, some better than others – adapt to their environment, (but – sic) they always retain, to some degree their foot in the past” (Prensky, 2001a, p. 2). This survey indeed found that Digital Immigrants in the sample population appear to be adapting more and more to newer technologies to circumvent viewing commercials, especially DVR/TiVo systems. The researcher speculates that while affluence and the level of education of the respondents were not aspects of this study, perhaps these Digital Immigrants still have their ‘accent’ although they are becoming more comfortable with the technologies because of their professions and the value of their free time. Meanwhile the Digital Natives seem to be migrating onward to online viewing at a faster pace than the Digital Immigrants. Implications/Recommendations The recommendations to improve this study are many. The researcher learned through mistakes while researching the topic, designing and distributing the survey instrument, and analyzing the collected results. In regards to the survey instrument design, the researcher found that including the N/A (I don’t have or use this service) option was a poor survey design choice. It provided the researcher with extra work to extract the important facts out of the response data. If a particular respondent does not have or utilize a DVR/TiVo, then the frequency or length to which they will go to circumvent viewing with a DVR/TiVo is irrelevant. The researcher suggests that for future research, additional survey logic should be included to further screen the sample population with

41 questions that eliminate respondents that do not have a given feature that is pertinent to the question. The researcher recognizes that commercial media viewing and distribution is a dynamic market. The technologies are changing rapidly and so called pull (versus push) advertising methods and personalization of commercial media are already being implemented. Companies are producing set-top boxes such as TiVo that implement advertisements that are contextually relevant to the program being viewed and the viewers viewing habits. They are also interactive and less able to be circumvented through fast-forwarding. It would be interesting to measure if this is a less intrusive and more effective means to provide advertising to the consumer. Surveying a larger population would be interesting. Limiting the study population to Bowling Green State University contacts was fairly restrictive. The limitation provided the researcher with easy access to email addresses for the population although this does not provide valuable insight to the overall population in the United States, or perhaps the global community. Using a less constrained population may provide a more thorough understanding of the importance of circumventing a commercial through a particular tool or technology as well as the lengths to which the consumer will go in order to circumvent viewing a commercial. Additionally, if the personalization, interactivity, and contextual aspects were also included in the survey instrument and study scope, this would provide much more valuable insight data to consumers and marketers. That would be up-to-date with the current market forces and technological innovations emerging in the world today.

42 References Bulik, B. (2009, April 13). What'll be the breakout star that links TV to Net? Retrieved April 22, 2009, from Advertising Age website: http://adage.com/article?article_id=135949 Digital video recorder. (n.d.). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Digital_video_recorder&oldid=281136737 Elkin, T., & Kerwin, A. (2003, April 28). Study: GenY is key to convergence. Advertising Age, 74(17), 61-61. Retrieved March 25, 2009, from Business Source Complete database. Fraenkel, J. R., & Wallen, N. E. (1993). How to design and evaluate research in education (2nd Ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. Frand, J. (2000). The information-age mindset: Changes in students and implications for higher education. EDUCAUSE Review, September-October, 15-24. Graham, P. (March 2009). Why TV Lost. Retrieved March 3, 2009, from Why TV Lost Web site: http://paulgraham.com/convergence.html Leichtman Research Group. (2009, February 23). Video usage continues to grow. Retrieved April 22, 2009 from http://wwwleichtmanresearch.com/press/022309release.html Mintel. (2004). Digital video recorders – US – September 2004. Retrieved March 16, 2009, from http://0academic.mintel.com.maurice.bgsu.edu/sinatra/oxygen_academic/search_results/show&/ display/id=112809/display/id=112809/display/id=123735 Mintel. (2006). Media centers and set-top boxes – US – September 2006. Retrieved March 2, 2009, from http://0-

43 academic.mintel.com.maurice.bgsu.edu/sinatra/oxygen_academic/search_results/show&/ display/id=165017 Mintel. (2007). Online and downloadable video – US – October 2007. Retrieved March 2, 2009, from http://0academic.mintel.com.maurice.bgsu.edu/sinatra/oxygen_academic/search_results/show&/ display/id=301421/display/id=252331 Mintel. (2008). Attitudes towards advertising and media – US – April 2008. Retrieved March 2, 2009, from http://0academic.mintel.com.maurice.bgsu.edu/sinatra/oxygen_academic/search_results/show&/ display/id=301431 Optical disc drive. (n.d.). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Optical_disc_drive&oldid=281186440 Pavlik, J. (2008). Media in the Digital Age. New York: Columbia University Press. Prensky, M. (2001a, September/October). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon, 9(5), 1-6. Prensky, M. (2001b, November/December). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants, Part 2: Do they Really Think Differently? On the Horizon, 9(6), 1-6. TiVo. (n.d.). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=TiVo&oldid=280810867 Videocassette recorder. (n.d.). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Videocassette_recorder&oldid=279083856

44 APPENDIX A: HSRB APPROVAL DOCUMENT

45

46 APPENDIX B: SURVEY INSTRUMENT

47

48

49

50

51

52

53 APPENDIX C: RATING SCALE TOOL

54

55

56

57

58 APPENDIX D: LIKERT SCALE TREATMENT RATIONALE

59

60

61

62

63 APPENDIX E: SURVEY SUMMARY – ALL RESPONDENTS

64

65

66

67

68

69

70 APPENDIX F: SURVEY RESULTS SUMMARY FOR DIGITAL NATIVES GROUP

71

72

73

74

75

76

77 APPENDIX G: SURVEY RESULTS SUMMARY FOR DIGITAL IMMIGRANTS GROUP

78

79

80

81

82

83

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful