Conde Nast Portfolio.comhttp://www.portfolio.com/views/blogs/the-tech-observer/2009/03/27/television-not-dead-yet?tid=true

by Ryan Singel for Wired.com

Online video is finally coming of age on the internet, but a new study shows that the average American adult still spends less than 3 minutes a day watching videos online — and five hours watching live television.

That works out (DVR interventions notwithstanding) to more than an hour a day of live TV commercials — according to the year-long observational study paid for by the Nielsen-funded Council for Research Excellence. It’s no wonder then that Google is telling the Wall Street Journal that it is testing a way for advertisers to run campaigns that put ads on YouTube videos and traditional TV alike.

Of course the Nielsen rating company and its broadcast clients clearly have a vested interest in television ranking highly in the outcome of the study. But the study was run by Ball State University’s media program and had researchers recording what people were doing second by second.

So regardless of the study’s origin, the point is clear.

When 18-to-24 year-olds spend only 5 minutes a day with online video and less time with the two-way web than with their one-way televisions, it is clear the old ways aren’t dead yet. Which is to say: talk all you want about the disruption from Hulu, DVRs, BitTorrent, on-demand movie rentals and user-generated videos — there’s still a lot more money to be made flashing ads at couch potatoes watching television on TV sets.

The fact that Google’s going after television’s ad revenues makes it clear that the rush to new media isn’t yet the stampede away from old media that it can feel like when in the midst of a YouTube jag.

That said, there’s no way Nielsen and the networks can look at the proliferation of new media technologies and not shudder. It’s just that Silicon Valley entrepreneurs underestimate how long they have to keep showing uninteresting 30-second beer and toilet paper ads and pretending that the ad’s volume isn’t louder than the television show it interrupted.

Advertisements