One Screen Not Enough for Chinese Consumers

One Screen Not Enough for Chinese Consumers

Jesse Goranson, Senior Vice President of Media and Telecom, Nielsen Greater China

On Chinese New Years Eve, watching CCTV’s (China Central Television) New Year’s Gala on television has historically been a traditional family event. But consumption has changed, according to a new study by Nielsen, as Chinese consumers are increasingly creating their own “converged” network.

According to the latest Chinese New Year (CNY) Gala Show cross-platform study, while TV still played a major role in this special occasion, consumers used other media platforms much more than during the last Chinese New Year’s Gala show. The study shows that video website usage increased significantly compared to last year. For example, unique browsers (UB) for Youku and Tudou increased 24 percent and 28 percent, respectively from last year’s CNY period.

CCTV Gala_chart1

Many Chinese consumers are not satisfied with a singular TV experience anymore. More and more, consumers want to enrich their TV experience with additional sources of information found on the Internet and mobile devices. According to Nielsen, there was a significant shift from TV to the Internet during prime time on the CNY Eve compared to last year for those consumers who live in Shanghai – one of the most sophisticated cities in China. And 11 percent of Shanghai homes simultaneously used the Internet while watching the Gala show.

CCTV Gala_chart2

According to the Nielsen survey conducted in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen during the CNY period, 42 percent of respondents relied on online and 9 percent used mobile screens to obtain further information about the CCTV Gala Show.

Opinions Count

Chinese consumers took full advantage of the interactivity offered by the online platform using forums and microblogs as a way to connect with others and express their opinions about content and performers in the CNY shows. From an online perspective, the CCTV Gala Show generated 39,322 messages from netizens, more than any other CNY shows broadcast by other major provincial satellite TV channels. The programs, “Missing Home,” “In the Spring” and “My Desk-mate” generated the most buzz among Chinese netizens.

CCTV Gala_chart3

Challenges for Programmers and Marketers

With more viewers no longer solely focused on one screen, programmers and marketers must think strategically about content and advertising that resonate across all three screens – TV, Internet and mobile. The good news is that when programmers and advertisers have great content, they get the benefit of the echo chamber found on the Internet and mobile where people will talk about the content over and over. This is true both for the program content and the ad content.

As consumer behavior is changing very fast, the role of media must change too. The key to success is identifying the appropriate screen that is most appealing and convenient for the desired audience and know how consumers interact with it in this era of convergence. Consumers are engaging more often in real-time conversations, particularly on social networks and other digital platforms. Social media is a great way to involve consumers as their richer interactions can help marketers improve targeting.

The changing role of traditional media and the emergence of newer platforms extend the programmer and marketer’s role well beyond the delivered audience. Programmers and marketers today need a deeper understanding of how consumers engage with different types of media at each stage.

About the “The converged Chinese Audience during the Spring Festival” Study

This study integrates insights from a range of Nielsen’s services available in China, including online buzz, the cross-platform research panel in Shanghai, as well as customized research fielded in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen during the CNY period.