Arbitron: Out-of-Home Not Just 'Men In Bars,' 14 Percent Of All TV Usage
"This is historic," said Pierre Bouvard, president, Portable People Meter at Arbitron. "I think we as an advertising industry have stereotypes about out-of-home television as guys in bars. And I think that stereotype gets exploded."
Bouvard said Arbitron is still analyzing the data, and cautioned that one week's analysis may not be indicative of long-term patterns, but that there appeared to be a relatively balanced composition of young men and women consuming TV out-of-home, and that overall usage levels were at least two times higher than the "6 percent to 7 percent" of total viewing that previous out-of-home TV studies have indicated.
"The percentage of average quarter-hour viewing to television that is out-of-home--men and women 18-49--it's about 13 percent to 14 percent overall for the week," he said, noting that during midday, out-of-home usage climbs to as high as 17 percent of all TV usage in the Houston market.
Bouvard said it was still difficult to know the precise composition of that audience--whether they were people watching TV at work, whether they were unemployed, or even where or on what types of TV platforms they were watching TV on.
However, he said some of the highest concentrations of out-of-home viewing were for cable networks such as Fox Sports, ESPN2, WGN, and The Weather Channel, which reap as much as 20 percent of their total audience from out-of-home viewers.
"The conclusion: out-of-home is a lot more than guys in bars," he said.
The PPM system also revealed new information about the time-shifting of TV viewing. Because each PPM device has the ability to "time stamp" when someone watches a program, Arbitron knows when it has been viewed. Bouvard said initial results indicate that the vast majority of TV viewing in digital video recorder households--93 percent--is done live, and that among the 7 percent that is done on a time-shifted basis, most of it is viewed either the same day, or the following day. He said 9 percent of Arbitron's sample in Houston has DVRs.
Arbitron also pointed to several important insights into radio usage that essentially confirm what it found in an early test two years ago in Philadelphia: That radio audience cumes at higher reach levels than previously believed, and that radio is an effective medium for reaching younger listeners ages 6-11. Under Arbitron's diary method, only persons 12-plus were measured.
"This proves that radio is a reach medium," he said.