It’s not by coincidence that CTAM’s annual conference is called "Summit." It’s a word that describes lofty height and expansive view. And as our marketplace gyrates and shifts, that sort of perspective is more important than ever. In fact, with the right vantage point, sometimes you see things in a whole new way.

An example: We’re all aware of the worry surrounding audience falloff spawned by the rapid progression of the digital video recorder. But did you know approx half of DVR users spend more time watching TV—including live TV—than they used to? It’s true. And it’s one of the insights detected through a CTAM-commissioned consumer survey that yielded fascinating findings about DVR and On Demand television. You’ll find it in the October/November issue of the CTAM Pulse that provides highlights from the CTAM Co-op Study, "Watching On Demand and DVRs: The Impact on TV Viewing."

That’s just one example. Did you also know that…

* Penetration of HD in digital cable households (47%) is nearly twice that of satellite TV households (25%)? (CTAM Pulse: Tracking Entertainment and Technology.)

* 82% of those who watch video content online are looking for a specific TV program they missed when it first aired on TV? (Tracking the Evolving Use of Television and its Content: Wave 4, Nielsen conducted research for CTAM.)

* 83% of teens report they still watch content on a television set, while 68% watch TV on a desktop or laptop computer? (CTAM Pulse: Teen’s Techie Behavior).

These findings reflect a growing CTAM focus on research that helps members apply fresh perspectives about a world that’s undergoing convulsive change—and provoking unprecedented opportunity. This year, CTAM has delivered insights aplenty:

* CTAM’s 2008 On Demand study of 1,237 digital cable customers found On Demand has achieved broad reach, with 77% of U.S. consumers with VOD available using it. While, this represents 9% of total viewing, online video already captures twice as many viewing hours as VOD.

* Our June/July CTAM Pulse explored in detail the adoption rates associated with new entertainment and communications platforms, helping readers connect the dots and draw conclusions relating to forthcoming adoption patterns and shifts in fundamental expectations about television.

As we move into 2009 planning, CTAM members are asking for even more sophisticated and in-depth looks at consumer behavior and how it impacts and informs advertising, multi-platform viewing and new product marketing.

* Television, Online, Mobile: A Deep Dive into the Three Screen Experience: A fascinating human-behavioral study CTAM is conducting in association with NeuroFocus will employ brainwave-monitoring and eye-scanning techniques to evaluate the effect on different video platforms on emotional connections, engagement levels and purchase intent readings associated with advanced advertising.

* The State of Consumption of Entertainment Content: Using Nielsen quantitative behavioral data, this study analyzes simultaneous TV viewing and Internet usage to determine how television and the Internet are challenging legacy assumptions about how (and what) we watch.

* Tracking the Evolving Use of Television and Its Content, Wave 5. CTAM’s multi-year study examines trends in consumer consumption, attitudes and behaviors relating to consumer perceptions and awareness of new technologies ranging from HDTV and DVRs to broadband content and mobile video offerings.

In 2009 and beyond, we’ll continue to provide fresh insights about the modern media environment. And the perspective to match. (Char Beales is pres/CEO of CTAM).

The Daily

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