Saturday , July 20 2024

New Study: The On-Demand Media Consumer

Penetrating, fascinating, revealing and coruscating study from Edison Media Research and Arbitron, “Internet & Multimedia 2005: The On-Demand Media Consumer.”

Summary of Findings

1. Americans are changing the way they access video programming. Video programming is no longer the exclusive domain of broadcast television, and network schedules no longer completely dictate what content is watched and when. Significant numbers of consumers are:

Watching movies on-demand through their cable box or rent them online.
Watching movies and TV programs on DVD as an alternative to syndication.
Accessing news and sports clips online.
Recording and time-shifting regular TV programming.

2. Americans are changing the way they access music. Music choices have expanded past the terrestrial radio dial to include:

Internet radio with thousands of stations to choose from.
Satellite radio with a clear national signal featuring major personalities and attractions.
Portable MP3 players that can hold entire music libraries and customized playlists.

3. The Internet is now mainstream. Four in five Americans have Internet access, with nearly half of online households having broadband access, and as a result:

Consumers are researching and buying items online.
News, music and video are being accessed online.
Consumers are spending a significant amount of time online, even while they are doing other activities, such as watching TV.

4. On-demand media behaviors change and limit exposure to commercial messages. Many on-demand devices and activities affect the ads normally associated with these media, such as:

DVRs allow users to skip through the commercial breaks in TV programs.
Video on Demand and DVDs allow consumers to watch movies and series without commercial interruption.
Portable MP3 players and satellite radio allow consumers to listen to a wide variety of music without commercial interruption.

5. Consumers show high enthusiasm and passion for on-demand media devices such as TiVo/DVR, iPod, broadband Internet access, high-definition TV and satellite radio.

6. The young and affluent are leading the shift to on-demand media habits. Teens, young adults and persons with an annual household income of $100,000 or more seem to gravitate toward on-demand media behaviors and attitudes.

Significant Highlights

As of January 2005, 81% of consumers have access to the Internet from any location, up from 50% just six years ago.

In January 2001 only 12% of Americans with Internet access at home used a broadband connection. Now, 48% of people with home Internet access have broadband and 48% have dial-up service.

The youngsters go for the portable digital music players: 27% of 12- to 17-year-olds, 18% of 18- to 24-year-olds, and 20% of 25- to 34-year-olds own an iPod or other portable MP3 player, compared with just 9% of those 35 and older.

Twenty-two percent of Howard Stern’s listeners say they are “very” or “somewhat” likely to follow him to satellite radio. Sixteen percent of Americans say they currently listen to radio personality Howard Stern. In 2004, Stern announced that when his over-the-air radio contract expires he will be taking his show to Sirius Satellite Radio.

The monthly Internet radio audience represents an estimated 37 million Americans, and the estimated weekly audience is nearly 20 million Americans. As of January 2005, 15% of Americans say they have listened to Internet radio in the last month, and 8% have listened to Internet radio in the past week.

14% of Americans have watched Internet video in the last month, and 8% have watched in the last week. The monthly Internet video audience is estimated to be approximately 35 million people; the weekly Internet video audience is nearly 20 million.

81% of owners say they “like” or “love” using their TiVo/DVR, while 78% of owners say they “like” or “love” using their iPod. In addition, more than half of TiVo/DVR owners (55%) say that their digital recorder has had a “big impact” on their life. Nearly six in 10 (57%) broadband Internet users say that their Internet connection has had a “big impact on their life.”


1. As teens and young adults mature and on-demand media devices become more prevalent, consumers’ desire to control their media use is likely to spread. Marketers need to work now on strategies that will cut through in an increasingly on-demand media world.

2. Traditional media should consider playing first-run programs more than once, provide consumers with content online in addition to over-the-air, and partner with on-demand media services.

3. Internet media need to continue to make listening and viewing experiences more compelling. Consumer passion for the programming itself is not as strong as the passion for newer on-demand media devices such as TiVo/DVR and iPod or traditional media options such as radio or cable: therefore, Internet broadcasters need to continue to focus on providing unique programming that generates greater consumer passion for their medium.

4. 20% of Americans subscribe to satellite radio, own an iPod/MP3 device or listened to Internet radio in the past week, compared with the 95% of Americans who listened to radio during the week. Plus, this study reveals that on-demand audio consumers listened to only slightly less radio per day (15 minutes) than average.

5. Advertisers for on-demand media devices should run Internet audio and video advertising to get the attention of potential buyers. People who use on-demand media devices and services are heavy Internet users, making Internet media ideal to promote their products.

6. Internet advertising needs to expand beyond banners, search and pop-ups. Internet broadcast advertising with Internet radio and visual ads attached to video content cannot be skipped or avoided, and may prove to be a vital part of the Internet experience.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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