dimanche 20 mai 2012

Is the Living Room Losing the TV Battle?

The living room used to be the TV room. The place where "all the family" converged for news and prime time programs. In the US, during the seventies, the Viet-Nam War was called a "living-room war" since  it took place every evening in America's living room, on the TV screen.
Now, not only is TV viewership fragmented into many channels and video sources, but family viewership is scattered throughout many places: bedrooms, garage, kitchen, basement, living room. Among these different places, the bedroom seems to take pride of place.

Source: Nielsen Wire, May 17, 2012. Unfortunately, this statistics does not take Out-of-Home into account.

This data would be even more convincing if all screens were taken into account (tablets and video games, smartphones and computers), as we have noticed with teenagers in the UK. The cause is probably not only digital media, it is first and foremost the consequence of teenagers' lifestyles. They want to be left alone, even if they are reading or doing homework.

All media follow the same trend as radio: they start in one room and little by little conquer other living spaces. At the same time, the cost of measurement increases along the line proportionately from a single audimeter (set meter) to a number of personal (people) meters as well as surveys that need to be "merged" for the advertising strategy.

"Where does the receiver go", asks the magazine Better Homes and Gardens in 1949. From its beginning on, and for many decades, TV was supposed to bring families together: "a kind of miniature clubhouse for a little family group". In the 80s', the TV set became "the home theater".
Now TV is entering a new era: it is everywhere. Paradoxically, watching TV is becoming less of a live social experience, it is becoming more of a virtual social experience.
One way or another, TV is social....


Michael J. Arlen, Living-room War, 1982, Penguin, 242p.
Lynn Spigel, Make Room For TV. Television and the Family Ideal in Postwar America, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1992, 236 p. Index

9 commentaires:

Antoine Bailly a dit…

Comme vous le précisez dans le corps du texte de cet article, mon opinion est que le résultat obtenu est davantage du aux modes de vie de chaque génération plutôt qu'à une profonde tendance des habitudes de consommation du média "TV".
La même étude dans 20 ans pourrait aboutir aux mêmes conclusions si tant est que la télévision soit parvenue à garder la place qui est la sienne dans nos foyers.

Dani unifr a dit…

I think the key point, as it was mentioned in the blog entry, is that TVs have become affordable to a level, that people have multiple screens at home. Different to the 70's, there are countless different channels to watch, so everyone can satisfy his/her own needs. Families do no longer watch TV all the time together (...of course there are still events that are watched togheter, SuperBowl etc.), simply because they have different interests (also depending on age and peer group). But as it was mentioned, TV is this "social". But people use now modern technologies as social media to exchange opinions. So they still watch TV "together" with others, but via social media and with people, that can be far away, eventually not even personally known...

Jonas Wechsler (fribourg) a dit…

A nice quote of the paper "Understanding Television as a Social Media" published by the MIT underlines the new possibilites TV in the time of Social Media!
"A quick scan of the media ecosystems suggests that successful television content travels easily across media platforms and different formats and into offline exchanges. This analysis underscores what the ethnographic
evidence suggests: that engaging with television isn’t just a matter of passively watching the professionally produced content but involves more active modes of consumption. For example, Mad Men show creators made it easier for fans(and casual viewers) to also pull content into their personal lives. They did this through an application called “Mad Men Yourself,” which allowed show enthusiasts to personalize graphic versions of show characters and use
them as avatars on Facebook and Twitter accounts. This provided a mechanism for users to signal their
affiliation with a popular show, beyond the conventional strictures of television and directly through popular social media."

@AnneSoBB a dit…

D'après cette étude, il n'est donc pas nécessaire de s'inquiéter sur l'avenir incertain de la TV dans nos habitudes. En effet, s'il y a des TV dans toutes les pièces de la maison, cela signifie qu'il y a encore un acte d'achat de la TV et surtout une démarche de visionner ce support.
Le marché de la TV ne semble donc pas trop en danger, si toutefois elle arrive à se renouveler et proposer des services plus adaptés aux modes de consommation actuels (une TV qui se regardait spécialement aux toilettes, pourquoi pas?)

Ismael Dime a dit…

Tout d'abord je pense que l'enquête est quelque peu biaisée par l'avènement de la télévision. Il n'est plus rare désormais qu'un foyer possède plusieurs Tv contre une dans les années 70.
Deuxièmement, la télévision suit les modes de consommation, hors de nouveaux comportements sont apparus: regarder la Tv en faisant ses devoirs, on endort les enfants avec un dessin animé... Notre société est également celle du choix, plusieurs écrans permettent donc de regarder plusieurs choses pour des personnes désirant différents programmes.
La multiplication des contenus et la démocratisation des contenus ont permis à la Tv d'investir nos foyers dans presque toute les pièces de la maison!!

vsode a dit…

Les modes de consommation change, la télévision est de moins en moins une activité familiale, il parait donc normal que le lieu de "consommation" change également.

Des télévisions dans toutes les pièces oui, mais quelle attention y est portée?
La mesure de l'audience se bute ici à la réalité des faits: il est de plus en plus difficile de suivre les habitudes de consommation s'il existe de nombreuses TV dans les foyers.

Mara.fr a dit…

Wie bereits im Artikel erwähnt, wäre es interessant gewesen auch Computerspiele,Smartphones und Tablets in Betrachtung zu ziehen.
Ich denke, da könnte man einen massiven Generationenunterschied feststellen.
Der Fernseher ist meines Erachtens nur begrenzt sozial, am ehesten vielleicht in einer Kneipe bei einer Sportübertragung, ansonsten ist die social media eher geeignet um sich zu unterhalten, auszutauschen und Gleichgesinnte zu treffen.

Carmela UniFr a dit…

I agree that it would have been interesting to see the data had computers and tablets been taken into consideration. Given that not all apartments or homes have space for a living room, that would also affect the data because inhabitants would be "forced" to watch television shows or series on their computers or in other rooms which are equipped with a television set!

Watching television seems to have become an individual activity - we no longer have family tv time in the living room - although tv remains social in the sense that audiences discuss what they've seen with peers or other viewers.

sara lahoucine a dit…

The living room used to be the TV room. Indeed, technology and habits mutations caused a fragmentation of TV viewership into many channels, video sources, places and devices.
The diagram shows that teens, from 12 to 17 years old, almost spent the same time (47%) watching TV in the living room and in the bedrooms. We can explain this by the fact that new Medias (digital Medias) bring new uses among the geeks (especially teenagers that like digital gadgets). Moreover, those new Medias answer the need of teenagers to watch the TV alone and to be mobiquitous. As a consequence, TV watching locations changed:
 Inside home, from the living room to other places like the bedrooms ;
 Outside the home, like watching TV in the bus, the car, at school…
Another effect is that audience measurement became difficult as people are connected to Tv from many places and many devices (PC, tablets, smartphones). Nowadays, TV combines :
 Live social experience through discussions watching TV channels whatever the screen is (Tv screen, PC, tablet, smartphone) wherever they are (inside or outside home);
 Digital social experience through comments left while watching online TV.