A transitional point of media consumption: From 'we' to 'me' media: The need for research to understand change

Sara Sheridan

1 The challenge in researching media consumption

Strange fascination, fascinating me Changes are taking the pace I'm going through.

David Bowie, 'Changes'

AS AN INDUSTRY, we face a challenge for research to meaningfully 'measure' audiences in the content they consume as they continue to move further from traditional linear TV into a world of digital content which can be consumed across a range of platforms, places and times.

Although this challenge is not new, it is relevant because of the time in which it exists. Brands are ever more fervently seeking to 'own' the relationship between platforms and deliver content in a way that meets audiences' current and future needs.

Recent history illustrates that much innovation intended to improve the way 'TV' content is consumed has not yet succeeded. In 2010 examples of failed uptake were seen in Apple TV (second generation) and Boxee and in 2011 most notably Google TV, Blackberry Playbook and Google Chromebooks failed to successfully engage audiences. As well as issues surrounding usability and cost, it seems likely to base at least some of this failure on the reality that new ideas were based on what people said they wanted. The challenge in basing innovation on what audience's say they want is a consistent trend due to traditional media research, as individuals tend to wilfully overestimate the nature of their own media consumption — seeking to sound more tech-savvy and ahead of the adoption curve.