social tv, interactive tv, 2 screen et all: the glass is half full

In August we learned from Ofcom’s report that little had changed in TV viewing habits across the UK:

Although media multi-tasking is widespread, half of people consume only one type of media in the evening. This peak-time evening media use is driven by people watching scheduled live television through their TV set, an activity mainly undertaken on its own rather than with other media.

Today, we finally see the full half of the glass, and it certainly feels closer to our experience on the ground:

Research from Intel has found that almost half of (45%) Brits have admitted to using sites like Twitter, Facebook and MSN messenger to discuss a TV programme whilst it’s on air. Surprisingly, it’s the girls who are leading this social change with more than half (51%) of them using the online chat offerings whilst watching TV when compared to only 38% of men.

It’s interesting how each study focused on one side of the argument only. Perhaps indicative as to where interests lie. The Ofcom report contradicted most market insight we had at the time, yet seemed serious material for pondering. Now it feels more as if they chose not to look into a solid trend—45% (but then, it’s 300 pages, maybe we missed something), while drilling into much smaller trends, like catch-up TV consumption & and HD household preparedness.

As you’d expect, Intel looked quite seriously into how Internet surfing, online chatting, and social networks work with TV viewing and demographics, at the moment and in the close future. And when you’re a design & and technology start-up like us, constantly pushing the boundary of what’s needed and what’s achievable, peeking into what tomorrow brings is more valuable than hearing about the status quo.

Read more: The Communications Market 2010 from Ofcom and Intel’s full press release

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