CARF presents $3.5 million video media study in Toronto

Because of its length and scope of research, the Nielsen-funded Video Consumer Mapping study debunks recent media consumption myths, says chairman of the Canadian Advertising Research Foundation.

Canadian media buyers and publishers can see many fallacies about TV and online media consumption debunked in an upcoming presentation of a recent major American study this month in Toronto, says Paul Street, CTV’s director of research and chairman of the Canadian Advertising Research Foundation (CARF).

The Video Consumer Mapping (VCM) study, conducted on behalf of the Nielsen-funded Council for Research Excellence (CRE) cost about $3.5-million and took place over the course of a year, examining how people use TV, computers, mobile devices and other media. ‘In the absence of a similarly thorough study in Canada, we can learn many insights from our American cousins. Media use in the two countries is comparable in many media categories; it’s often the content choices that are at variance,’ Street tells MiC.

Conducted by Ball State University’s Center for Media Design (CMD) and Sequent Partners, VCM covered more than three-quarters of a million minutes and a total of 952 observed days, making it the largest and most extensive observational study of media usage ever conducted, according to VCM. Consumption findings include demographic info, for instance that young people and retirees, and consumers aged 45 to 54, were exposed to, on average, the most daily screen time, just over nine-and-a-half hours. And according to the study, computing has replaced radio as the number two media activity – radio is now number three and print media comes in fourth.

The study also finds that TV viewers were exposed to, on average, 72 minutes per day of TV ads and promos – dispelling a commonly held belief that modern consumers are channel-hopping or otherwise avoiding most of the advertising in the programming they view, according to researchers. ‘The observational methodology for advertising exposure provides some redress to participants’ reluctance to recognize or acknowledge their exposure to advertising messages,’ says Street.

The three-hour seminar, hosted by CARF, takes place Aug. 19 in Toronto at the Four Season Hotel in Yorkville, with speakers from Ball State’s CMD - Mike Bloxham, director, insight and research, and Michael Holmes, associate director, insight and research.