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Question: how many hours of TV do you think the average American watches per day?

2 hours? 4?

How much do you watch each day?

If you guessed 2-4, you’re too low. According to Nielsen, the typical American watches 5 hours of TV per day.

But that’s not the end of the story. Not by a long shot.

What’s changing with that is how they watch TV.

Nielsen says 84% of smartphone and tablet owners use their devices as a “second screen” as they watch. That doesn’t mean they have their smartphone or tablet and do something completely different on those devices.

That means they use these devices to help them watch TV, or to learn more about something they just saw. For example, Nielsen’s data says:

So What Does This Mean for Businesses Like Yours?

The next step in advertising is moving it literally into real-time. You’ve probably heard about advertising techniques like “retargeting.” If you haven’t, that’s where a certain ad appears to “follow” you across the web because you indicated some level of interest in that website.

So that’s why you can be on ESPN’s website and see ads for the latest e-commerce software site you checked out.

“Real-time” advertising would be a little different than retargeting, though. For example, people watch a comedy show, and the last scene is all about a guy making a total fool of himself in someone else’s bathroom looking for the toilet paper. Finally, the hapless person gets toilet paper and relief. On their smartphones and tablet PCs, viewers start to see ads about a leading brand’s toilet paper.

Now that toilet paper’s more likely to experience a nice spike in sales because it’s highly relevant to what just happened on TV.

Or maybe it’s a commercial for an antacid or an indigestion relief product.

If you think about it, there’s room for limitless creativity and innovation with this type of advertising. And it can work for any kind of business, as long as the advertising is timed right with what’s happening on TV.

Consumers Are Gaining More Control Over What They Watch

Will cable TV even exist in 10-15 years? Thanks to market-leading on-demand providers like Netflix and Hulu, TV as we know it is slowly disappearing.

In the future, few television shows will be watched in defined time-slots. So there’s going to be more control over advertising too.

Anyway, it’s fascinating. And it’ll be interesting to see the resulting sales numbers. Conversion rates should be high because of the instant relevancy.



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