Viewing the Viewer: Media's New Generation

Adriana Waterson
Horowitz Associates

Introduction

We are in an era of seismic change in the media industry. Shifts in demographics, the media technologies in consumers' hands, and the dynamics of competition in the marketplace require that we delve deep to understand what drives consumer decisions about the media they consume, the technologies they use, and the brands they trust.

Today's complex web of technologies requires that we go beyond survey numbers, ratings, and traditional measurements: To really "get it", we must get into consumers' homes and lives to see firsthand how they are interacting with the numerous devices and technologies they have at their fingertips. Like "reality TV," ethnography is "reality research." By entering a subject's home turf, we see individuals not as flat numbers, but as real people interacting with media all day and every day, during the ordinary course of their lives.