Your Audience is Changing Seats

Best Buy reported a 14% slip in their shares during the 4th quarter of 2010. This is the difficult side effect to slumping sales. Primarily, their sales were paltry in television sets, movies and games, according to Forbes Magazine.

This trend may be indicative how the market is shifting among all retailers. In 2010, television growth was at 18% while this year’s numbers are trending towards a 4% growth (according to research firm DisplaySearch). A major cool down from hi def television enthusiasm has entered our culture.

Last night, I couldn’t find a show on television to save my life. Instead, I flipped over to see what choices I had on Netflix and Hulu Plus. My cable bill is typically $50/month while Netflix & Hulu combined are $20. It’s no wonder that people are now watching online video that comes with on-demand capabilities. It’s less expensive with a huge array of options at your disposal. But, as television sets place these applications in their software, more accounts are being produced through on-demand services like Amazon, Netflix and Hulu.

Roger Kay, EndPoint Technologies wrote about television culture shifting. “All of our lives are more closely time sliced.  We have to execute more tasks, and these task [sic] are shorter.” As an audience, does shorter tasks mean more mobile devices? Yes. It’s a bit of chicken or egg scenario: Did we grow impatient naturally and build mobile devices or did we build mobile devices and make ourselves impatient? Either way, we have become more instantly gratified.

Meanwhile, the somewhat surprising piece of this puzzle is the fact that laptop sales have dramatically decreased. Doesn’t this online subscription world with shorter tasks need more laptops? Aren’t they turning from televisions to computers, thereby needing something mobile and easy to move?

The answer is yes. They are. Double digit growth of laptops have dropped down 1% AFTER the introduction of the iPad (PCWorld, April 2011) . The one product that basically brought the laptop market to its knees and it doesn’t play Macromedia Flash Video. It plays MPEG-4. It provides applications that play all those videos living on a cloud. It has the capability to provide your video content–no matter which format–via iPad apps.

The incarnation of laptops working as a second television has evolved into iPads working as a second television, too. The evolving audience is parsing their time in tasks including television viewing.

No more than ever, the opportunities for marketing depend on two departments: the IT professionals and the video professionals.

As formats change and evolve with the viewer, depend on your video production company to provide understanding where your video is going and it will effectively run in a high quality format with streaming video.

Ask us how to best utilize different video formats for your audience.

Steve Donovan Senior Editor


  1. Does this mean anything for general web videos on corporate websites?

    • It means a lot. Flash video is useless to iPad & iPhone users. Adobe said it was going to stop making Flash players for mobile video players (phones and tablets). So, format is impacted. Secondly, it pertains to style choices in video. More robust graphics with easy to read layout are in demand for smaller screens.

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