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Don’t Touch That Dial – Or That One – Or That One: The Changing Digital Landscape
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Don’t Touch That Dial – Or That One – Or That One: The Changing Digital Landscape

The days of the “off” switch are all largely gone. We are living in a world of 24/7 connectivity, accessing our content on our own terms, and we like it that way. Around the globe, more than three-quarters (76%) of respondents in a Nielsen online survey of digital attitudes and behaviors say they enjoy the freedom of being connected anywhere, anytime. While consumers clearly love this flexibility, it represents a huge challenge for brands and content providers vying for our attention in a fragmented viewing arena.

Due to the proliferation of digital devices and access points, including TVs, connected TVs, smartphones, PCs, tablets and gaming consoles, we’ve entered a new era of entertainment and advertising. The traditional boundaries between devices and formats have blurred, and content once confined to a single device can now be delivered across multiple platforms. And it’s not just devices and platforms competing for our time and attention—fragmentation is occurring within mediums, too.

“It has never been more important to understand consumer behavior than in today’s rapidly evolving digital environment,” said Megan Clarken, executive vice president, Nielsen Global Watch Product Leadership. “Choice creates not only complexity, but also opportunity. The media industry must embrace the changing landscape and adapt their strategies to fit with this new reality, offering engaging and relevant content that is easily accessible across devices and channels.”

Despite the explosion of devices and platforms, our unprecedented access to content and brands hasn’t done anything to dilute our love of video programming. In fact, more than half of global respondents (55%) say video programs are an important part of their lives. What is shifting, however, is the way audiences watch video.

As it turns out, size does matter—when it comes to the way we like to watch video programming. The majority of global respondents (63%) think bigger is better when it comes to screen size. But nearly six-in-10 global respondents (59%) also think watching video programming on their mobile device is convenient, and more than half (53%) say a tablet is just as good as a PC or laptop computer for watching programming. Respondents in Asia-Pacific (72%) lead all regions in their appreciation for the convenience of mobile viewing, while Middle East/Africa (70%) edged out their global counterparts in a “bigger is better” viewing belief.

“Watching TV in a linear fashion is changing for many, as we are now in more control of what we watch, when we watch and where we watch,” said Clarken. “Most important is understanding how viewing patterns are shifting and determining the driving forces behind the change. While technology continues to evolve, so too are our habits as a direct result. Multi-tasking has taken on a whole new meaning as our digital devices enable us to connect in ways—and in places—we may never have thought possible.”

The report also discusses:

  • Strategies for second-screen success.
  • Video viewing device preferences by programming type and viewer activity.
  • The next wave of digital white-space opportunities.

For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Global Digital Landscape Survey.

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The findings in this survey are based on respondents with online access across 60 countries. While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective only on the habits of existing Internet users, not total populations. In developing markets where online penetration has not reached majority potential, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population of that country. Additionally, survey responses are based on claimed behavior, rather than actual metered data.