“The Rise of the Simultaneous Viewer”

By Chris Pera-Weaver, Associate Director of eCommerce Operations

The title of today’s post is taken from a quote made by NBCUniversal’s top researcher Alan Wurtzel after he analyzed research of viewer consumption from the London games this past summer. Prior to seeing this research; admittedly, NBC was very concerned about the effects of online streaming and the cannibalization of T.V. viewership.

“Research from comScore showed adults who watched the Olympics only on TV spent an average of 4 hours and 19 minutes. Those consuming Olympic content on two devices (a TV and computer) did so for 5 hours and 18 minutes a day on average.

Moving up to three devices (TV, computer, mobile device), the average jumped to 6 hours and 50 minutes. Four-device users (TV, computer, mobile and tablet) consumed on average 8 hours and 29 minutes of content. Those who watched on TV and a laptop averaged 22% more prime-time viewing, while those who also watched with a phone and tablet averaged more than 8 hours or double the amount watched by TV-only viewers, said Wurtzel.”

PBS launched its first mobile app for PBS KIDS in August 2009 to provide parents with the opportunity to download PBS KIDS content on a relatively new and increasingly popular device called the iPhone. To date, there are 22 PBS KIDS apps available in the iTunes store which collectively account for over 3.2 million downloads. Ironically, over the past 3 years the number of visits to the website has increased by 70%. PBS’s reach into the kids 2-8 demographic has increased 2% from the 2009/10 season through the 2011/12 season. In addition, the September 2012 Nielson NPower national program ratings were released and, for the first time in 10 years, PBS KIDS programs were ranked as the top six shows for kids ages 2 to 5.

As we continue to serve our viewers and provide PBS KIDS content on multiple platforms, we’re encouraged by all of this data. Although we cannot conclusively state that there’s a cause and effect relationship between the launch of the mobile channel and an increase in online usage and regular TV viewership, the data implies that the mobile channel is a cohesive agent versus a divisive one for consuming regular PBS KIDS TV content.