Monday 27 November 2006

Putting users in control

Writing in one of the Sunday newspapers this weekend, author and journalist Julietta Jameson provides an overview of the impact of new technology (such as Electronic Program Guides (EPGs), ad skipping PVRs, and Internet video streaming) on television viewing habits and advertising . A couple of points stood out:

  • Quoting a media planner who says "there is plenty of research to say that consumers actually like advertising and appreciate commercial breaks for a chat, cup of tea, loo break"; and
  • Ratings from the US for popular shows such as CSI and Grey's Anatomy have exceeded 20 million viewers, suggesting new technologies are prompting more people to watch TV because "they have more control".

This is interesting enough for the new media space, but if we take these points out of the context of TV then I see a more general message about never assuming that users of information technology are passive - they adopt technologies and bend them to suit their needs, not what we think they need.


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