Volume 7 No. 2: How do people watch TV?

TV used to be hard to watch.  

You planned your day around your favorite program. Commercials meant a race to the kitchen and back before the show resumed. Battles for the remote were a regular event as everyone argued why they should choose the channel to watch on your family’s single TV, located in the center of the living room. 

It’s all different now. As TV evolved, so did viewing habits. 


   Marketing Breakdown   

How do we watch TV?

Each week, we break down another marketing trend so you can skip having a breakdown.

People watch more video content than ever. After sleeping, watching TV is the most common activity in America.  

But what are we watching? Where? When? There are far more potential answers to these questions today than there were 20 years ago. And as marketers, knowing how your audience is consuming content is crucial.  

  1. When do we watch? On-demand content provides flexibility in choosing when to watch, and for how long. Bingeing (watching 3 or more episodes in one sitting), has gained popularity as a result. 
  2. What platforms do we use? Yes, pay TV subscriptions are on the decline. (Although cord-revivers aren’t uncommon). Among subscription services, Netflix and Disney still lead the way. The latest rising star has been AVOD platforms, where people can watch on-demand content for free with ads. 
  3. Which devices do we watch on? Watching TV now happens on laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Even so, the traditional television set still gets its fair share of screen time. For example, more than half of YouTube viewers watch the platform on CTVs
  4. How do we watch? Co-viewing is on the rise. This is a return to the “old” ways of watching TV and refers to watching with others. It’s also typical for people to watch while using another device—like scrolling through social media on your phone. 

Key Takeaway: TV’s growing complexity means finding the right ways to connect with your audience can be tough. When launching TV, take the time to build a strategic media plan and get in front of the people who matter. 


   The Growth Lab   

Question: What role should technology play in driving innovation?

We ask an experienced group of business leaders, marketers and statisticians about strategies for success.

Answer: "I can’t think of an innovation I’ve witnessed or been a part of in my career where technology wasn’t at the heart of the project. Whether it’s foundational to the innovation, or playing a supporting role, technology is critical to the creation of a new idea or product.


Catherine Walstad, VP Media 

Catherine’s love for technology and innovation means she’s usually exploring what’s next in media. But in her spare time, she can be found sailing around Minnesota’s lakes. 


   Channel Changers   

Listen: Marketing Made Simple   

Here we celebrate books, podcasts, videos, and influencers that are actively pushing marketing into the future.

StoryBrand’s Marketing Made Simple podcast is a resource for marketers and business leaders who want to learn how to clarify their company’s message using practical marketing tips to grow their business. Hosts Dr. J.J. Peterson and April Hawkins start each episode with listener questions and bring on marketing experts to share their success stories.  

Our favorite insight? Peterson discusses with StoryBrand Guide Orlando Gomez that commercials are a way to grab consumer attention and “capture people's psyche.” In other words, your commercial invites customers into a story.  


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