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Driven to distraction – and right back to the telly?


Driven to distraction – and right back to the telly?


We are a distracted bunch.

I tooled around with this idea in my last post. As many people have confirmed through personal anecdotes since then, we fill every moment watching a screen of some sort – even moments within moments while watching another screen, the television. “That’s exactly the scene in our house,” they say. Can’t prise the kids off the ipad. Don’t talk to the hubby any longer.

It would be logical to conclude that we are no longer giving the same love and attention to TV. Poor, sad, lonely old TV. Thrown unceremoniously on our verges, waiting in vain for the council rubbish collection.

But, paradoxically the opposite appears to be true. In the last year, our main screen television viewing increased by 6.1% (according to the Australian Multi-Screen Report from Nielsen, OzTAM and RegTAM).

Despite – or perhaps because of – our distractions, we are watching more old skool TV.

How come?

More content to choose from? Certainly, new FTA channels have increased our appetite for telly. With upwards of eight FTA channel launches over the past 24 months, we seem to be coming back to the telly.

Quality programs? The big franchises – The Block, Masterchef, The Voice and the like – could be having an impact. They are very high quality, surround us at every turn, accompanied by big marketing spends.

But our distractions could actually be a factor.

We suck up more and more content, from these franchises and new channels, on more and more devices. We demand extras. We get to know characters better, talk about them on Facebook, share the best bits on Twitter. Become more emotionally engaged. We go deeper. We get more involved.

We know that we are multi-taskers while watching the television. Research done in the US in the past year tells us that prime time for iPads is also prime time for telly. The lure of the devce is great.

Counter intuitively, our distractions could have us loving the old skool product more.



Jacquie Riddell

With over 25 years experience in media innovation and leadership, Jacquie has created TV channels, radio stations, new program formats, digital media concepts and led large television productions. Currently using her skills in marketing strategy and creative leadership within various organisations, she was previously director of marketing at SBS for 6 years, responsible for brand management, creative direction, audience research, content strategy and promotion, including the development of SBS' new brand platform ‘Six (now Seven) Billion Stories and counting…’

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