Chapter 15

Social TV Measurement

Despite the attention online video receives daily, broadcast television remains the most important advertising medium. TV's share of worldwide ad dollars jumped from 38 to 46 percent over the last decade; Americans log 36 hours of tube time per week, versus 1.6 hours weekly for the streaming stuff watched on computer monitors and mobile screens (Fulgoni 2010).

TV's “king of the hill” status results from a growing and almost adulatory appreciation of its value to advertisers in today's media landscape: its unrivalled power to attract audiences. To paraphrase Mark Twain, “The report of television's death was an exaggeration.”

Although people watch more TV than ever before, viewership for almost every program is smaller than years ago, due to the 500-plus channel universe available through cable, satellite, and the Web. Watching TV resembles the modern family dinner: Members rarely sit down at the same time; rather, each eats according to his or her own schedule and tastes. What, when, where, and how to watch shows is a personal programming exercise that regularly involves the use of DVRs and on-demand services, which liberate people from the rigidly scheduled activity television watching once was. The days are long gone when the CBS, ABC, and NBC television networks controlled America's viewing and organized our lives.

In today's TV world, there are two factors worth noting about the viewing experience. First, people often use multiple forms of media ...

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