Hello all, and welcome from a slightly chilly Las Vegas. I’m a bit of a gadget dork, so coming to CES (Consumer Electronics Show) has been something I’ve looked forward to for some time. But you might be asking yourself, “Jon covers media, not technology, why, during these challenging economic times would Nielsen send Jon to hang out in the desert and lose money on cards for three days?”
The answer is twofold. First, I’m speaking on a panel tomorrow (if you’re around, stop by and say hi). That alone typically gets me out to conferences.
But there is actually a far more important reason. For some time we’ve been talking about media fragmentation. This has typically meant that there are more media options, more publishers, and just basically more media to consume. That clearly hasn’t changed, but what has changed is that we’re on the edge of a new era of fragmentation – where the publishers themselves are fragmenting their own media.
Let’s take a simple example – “Two and a Half Men.” CBS is currently showing the same series programs on: TV, iPod, CBS.com, YouTube, AOL TV and about a dozen other sites. The content is also available on TiVo, cable DVR, and a handful of other boxes people attach to their TVs. Now this doesn’t even include piracy, SlingBox/Sling.com, DVDs and a bunch of mobile content. So in many ways, CBS is fragmenting its own audience. And because rate cards are different for all of those platforms (where advertising is available), they are fragmenting their ad dollars for the only sitcom on TV that still consistently does well in the ratings.
So what does this have to do with CES? Interactive media is quite clearly no longer just about computers. It is about all three screens and different devices attached to those screens. If you’re talking about interactive video, but not talking about DVR, mobile and other alternate platforms, you not actually talking about interactive video.
So why am I here? I’m here to see what the future of all these screens looks like. Because someone has to measure them, and goodness knows, I want Nielsen to be the one to do it.
This is day one of my dispatches – I’m here through Friday. I’m hoping to have some video interviews to share with everyone tomorrow.