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Home arrow Marketing Research News arrow Company News and Announcements July-December 2012 arrow Trends For 2013: What Fragmentation Means For 'Critical Mass'
Trends For 2013: What Fragmentation Means For 'Critical Mass' PDF Print E-mail
Written by eMarketer   
27 Nov 2012
More channels mean smaller audiences despite more time spent with media

Decades of channel expansion have made fragmentation an indelible feature of the marketing landscape. One of the curious qualities of fragmentation is that it yields audiences that appear large in aggregate form, but are actually smaller in real terms. This quality tends to hold true regardless of channel.

For example, more consumers watch TV, and indeed, by eMarketer’s calculations, watch more of it, but those larger audiences are dispersed across multiple screens, or stream TV content to their PCs and smart devices. With rare exception, the mass audience accustomed to appointment viewing is long gone.

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Viewership data for the evening news on the major networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) serves as an effective proxy for this shift. According to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s annual “The State of the News Media 2012” study, the evening news audience is less than half of what it was in 1980. Some of the core audience that used to tune in nightly has aged out, but most of it has dispersed among the numerous cable alternatives. More significantly, it’s no longer concentrated in the same daypart, thanks to the on-demand availability of even TV news.

Moreover, what used to be a mass audience on TV is now dispersed across other platforms. Consumers’ attention is more divided than ever as media multitasking becomes the norm. Formerly linear consumption activity, defined by appointments with specific media, is now a tangle of simultaneous activities, some related, some not. TV remains at the center of this multitasking, but more often than not, there is another screen more directly in front of the viewer.

Image

Viewership data for the evening news on the major networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) serves as an effective proxy for this shift. According to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s annual “The State of the News Media 2012” study, the evening news audience is less than half of what it was in 1980. Some of the core audience that used to tune in nightly has aged out, but most of it has dispersed among the numerous cable alternatives. More significantly, it’s no longer concentrated in the same daypart, thanks to the on-demand availability of even TV news.

Moreover, what used to be a mass audience on TV is now dispersed across other platforms. Consumers’ attention is more divided than ever as media multitasking becomes the norm. Formerly linear consumption activity, defined by appointments with specific media, is now a tangle of simultaneous activities, some related, some not. TV remains at the center of this multitasking, but more often than not, there is another screen more directly in front of the viewer.

26 November 2012

Last Updated ( 03 Sep 2013 )
 
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