Shifting Content: A young peoples’ game?

There’s no question that our increasing ability to shift content across time, place and device is bringing about major changes in how we interact with media. The challenge and the opportunity lie in how rapidly the landscape is changing and how quickly young Americans are adapting to it. TVWeek recently reported that nearly two times as many Americans aged 18-34 have watched content via an online video than through a TiVO or other DVR.

Such changes may be deemed media-worthy, but is shifting content just a young people’s game? The short answer is no – although younger Americans tend to have several devices capable of content shifting, so do those in their late thirties through early fifties.

In a recent survey, we asked respondents what consumer electronics products they own, and identified some of these as likely content shifting devices: laptop computer, MP3/Portable media player, Digital Video Recorder (DVR), Apple iPhone, and other Smartphones. The data, split by age group, appears in the chart below.

  • People aged 25-34 were the most likely to have at least one content shifting device.
  • Adults 18-24 were the most likely to own four or more of these shifting devices, but not much more than those aged 25-44.
  • More than half of respondents 18-44 own at least 2 shifting devices.
  • Among those aged 55 and over, we see a noticeably larger percentage of "non-shifters" who did not own any of these devices than among any of the respondents 54 and under.

More ways to shift content continue to become available, and consumers are embracing their newfound freedom on a wider range of devices. Netflix recently announced that one million people, more than 10% of their membership, have downloaded their Xbox Live application since it was introduced in November, enabling them to stream video from Netflix to their television through the gaming console. The recent popularity of netbooks and smartphones could lead to even more demand for online video streaming with consumers in their mid-thirties to early 50s.

The takeaway for CE marketers, telecom service providers, and content producers is that many Americans already have the means to shift content on one, if not multiple devices. Assessing and serving that demand effectively will grow increasingly important in the years ahead.

For more on the size and potential of the content shifting market and how the practice is changing media consumption, join us on February 19th at 2 pm EST for "Shifting Content Across Time, Place and Device". Click here for more information or to register.