The best new gadget to land in my house in the past 12 months has to be our Comcast X1 voice activated remote control. This one button has dramatically changed how we find the content we want to watch. No longer do we need to remember channel numbers or times. We are empowered to “ask” for what we want by genre, title, actor or channel. While this simplifies the process of finding something once you have a direction, a larger question remains “How do we know what to ask for?”
As the share of live, linear viewing experiences continues to shift to more on-demand options, the well-worn adage, “content is king,” has never been truer. It reminds me of a quote from last year’s Media Insights and Engagement Conference by Keynote Speaker, Jeffrey Cole, Center for the Digital Future and Research Professor, USC Annenberg School for Communication. He humorously said “Content is ‘kinger’ than ever.” And this year’s MEI Conference continued to reiterate that same topic. Consumer appetite for content is not shrinking, in fact most measurement sources point to increased consumption of video content overall. Not only has where we find content shifted, but the volume of available content has increased exponentially as well. Late last year, Julie Piepenkotter, EVP of Research for FX Networks released research showing a 126% increase in the number of scripted series released across broadcast networks, basic and pay cable networks and streaming services from 2002 – 2015, with a 484% increase across basic cable alone. It’s no wonder that viewers are struggling to keep up with what is available when and from where.
So who are today’s content curators? Who do consumers trust to help them navigate this vast ocean of content? At the recent Media Insights and Engagement conference in Florida, an open “think tank” moderated by Theresa Pepe of Viacom Media Networks opened with the question of “What is your path to content?” Given the broad, multi-dimensional makeup of households today, defining one clear path is difficult. Among the channel brand researchers and market research agency executives in the room, promoting the value of channel network brands as curators, guiding and directing consumers to content across platforms and services seems the logical first step. Yet others, like Kirk Olsen, VP TrendSights at HorizonMedia, foresee a different, more automated future predicting the emergence of a new class of Media Concierge services to assist viewers.
The reality is that in an absence of real solutions, consumers are already developing their own shortcuts. The wealth of data available to the industry sheds a lot of light onto the behaviors in this new environment, but little has been published that captures the “why” and “how” behind these shifts. Who are today’s content curators? Who do consumers trust to help them prioritize the options? How does the way we search change to meet different need states?
Please join us on March 2 at 2pm ET as we ask consumers these questions and many more during a live, real-time research event. Invoke’s patented live research events offer real-time collaboration between brands and consumers allowing clients to cycle through ideas and make strategic decisions – quickly and cost-effectively. The result is a powerful combination of rich qualitative insights and large sample sizes that provide the confidence needed to act immediately on the findings.