“Owners of Apple’s ubiquitous portable media device spend far more time on it listening to music or audio podcasts than they do using it to watch TV or movies. That was among the findings in an unprecedented preliminary study conducted by the audience-measurement service in October — about one year after a video window was introduced to iPod and its corresponding Internet platform, iTunes,” Andrew Wallenstein reports for The Hollywood Reporter.
“The iPod research conducted by Nielsen, which is owned by VNU Group, parent company of The Hollywood Reporter, is the first publicly available independently published data on consumption habits for the device. Nielsen monitored a panel of 400 iPod users in the U.S. from Oct. 1-27 as part of its new initiative, Anywhere Anytime Media Measurement, or A2M2, which aims to measure audiences on myriad emerging digital platforms,” Wallenstein reports.
“Among the findings: Less than 1% of content items played by iPod users on either iTunes or the device itself were videos. Among video iPod users, that percentage barely improves, up to 2.2%,” Wallenstein reports. “Even measured by duration of consumption, where 30- or 60-minute TV shows might seem to have a built-in advantage over three-minute songs, video comprises just 2% of total time spent using iPods or iTunes among iPod owners. Video iPod users consume video 11% of the time. The study also found that 15.8% of iPod users have played a video on either iPod or iTunes. About one-third of that group doesn’t own a video iPod.”
Wallenstein reports, “Nielsen’s ‘Home Tech Report,’ a separate ongoing tracking of new technologies, projects about 13% of U.S. households own at least one iPod, amounting to about 15 million — 30% of which are video-enabled iPods. By Apple’s own count, nearly 70 million iPods have been sold to date.”
“Nielsen’s take on video consumption is highly subject to interpretation. Worst-case scenario: The panel is an early indication that TV and movies have limited appeal on iPods. Best-case scenario: While adoption of video may be proceeding more slowly than the hype suggests, there is tremendous upside ahead,” Wallenstein reports. “Apple, which declined comment, has been relatively tight-lipped about iPod usage with the exception of select statistics: The most current count pegs sales at 1.5 billion songs and 45 million videos (derived in part from 250 series from 40 networks). In its most recent earnings call, the Walt Disney Co. noted that about 500,000 movies have been sold in the two months since the company became the only major studio to strike a film-output deal (for 100 titles).”
Wallenstein reports, “To some degree, a higher volume of music is to be expected: Users could conceivably listen to a favorite song hundreds of times, while it is unlikely that a TV episode would be viewed more than a handful of times. In addition, many iPod music playlists incorporate MP3 files collected from outside sources long before the iPod came around, while videos aren’t as commonly collected and much less likely to come from outside the iTunes system.”
Full article here.
What’s next, a study that shows that TV and movies have limited appeal vs. music to drivers who have both audio and video players in their cars? Duh.
Music, which requires only one sense to be enjoyed, can be experienced while doing many things, for example: running, gardening, working, etc. Watching video usually takes two senses: sight and hearing. Therefore, consumption is naturally limited only to certain situations, for example: sitting on a commuter train, waiting for a plane, riding in the back seat of a car, etc. It’s beyond obvious that music listening will always be consumed in higher volume than video simply because music can be consumed in many more situations.
Anyone who thinks this study shows that iPod+iTunes has some problem with TV and movie adoption has our sympathies.
We’re listening to music right now while writing this sentence. We don’t watch TV shows and movies while we write, because we find that not much gets written when we do. It doesn’t mean we like music more than movies, it just means that we can only watch movies in certain situations that present themselves far less frequently than situations that allow for listening to music.
Wal-Mart and Target don’t have their panties in a bunch because TV and movies have “limited appeal” on iPod+iTunes, folks.
The real study you want to conduct to find out real information about music vs. video on iPods would be to put a person in an empty room with an iPod loaded with 20 of their favorite songs, the episode of their favorite TV show that they missed last night, and 10 movies they told you they haven’t seen, but wished they did. Then see what they choose. If you want to skew the results to your liking, tell the test subjects that they have to kill 10 minutes before the iPod is taken away to get the “music is more popular” result. To skew towards TV shows, tell them that they have to kill 30 minutes or an hour depending on the length of their favorite show. To get movies to come up strong, tell them they have to kill two hours.
Target backs off in dispute with Disney over Apple iTunes Store movie pricing – November 17, 2006
Disney sells nearly 500,000 movies via Apple’s iTunes Store in less than two months – November 09, 2006
Fox movies, including ‘Star Wars’ franchise, coming soon to Apple’s iTunes Store? – November 08, 2006
Analyst: two major studios seen joining Apple’s iTunes Store – October 10, 2006
Target complains to studios about iTunes Store movie download prices – October 09, 2006
Report: Apple and Wal-Mart in discussions over iTunes Store alliance – September 29, 2006
Wal-Mart: we’re not fighting iTunes Store movie downloads – September 23, 2006
Wal-Mart threatens retaliation against Hollywood studios if they sell movies via Apple’s iTunes – September 22, 2006
Disney’s remarkable 1st week iTunes movies sales should have studios clambering aboard Apple train – September 20, 2006
Disney sells 125,000 movie downloads via Apple’s iTunes Store in first week – September 19, 2006
Apple debuts iTunes 7 – September 12, 2006
Wal-Mart not happy with looming threat of Apple iTunes movie downloads – August 31, 2006