41% of US consumers think all TVs need a digital converter

Consumer Reports found that about 17% of Americans living in television households have at least one television set that will be affected by the digital transition, and 13% rely exclusively on over-the-air signals (OTA). Unless they take some action before February, nearly 19 mln Americans will be in households without television programming. While 93% of Americans indicated they are aware of the digital transition, consumers are still unclear about how the transition will affect them. 32% of consumers in households with at least one TV affected remain unaware they need to take action, and more than one quarter (28%) of those who will not have any functioning TV sets in their home next February do not know that they are affected by the transition.

About four in 10 consumers (41%) believe that ALL televisions will need a converter box to function properly. 29% believe that all households will need digital televisions to watch TV. 25% believe that every consumer must subscribe to cable, satellite or fiber TV to watch any television programming at all. 9% believe consumers will have to throw away all analog television sets.

Top 10 brands who paid for product placement in the first half of 2008

Brand Product Category Total #
Orange County Choppers Apparel 3,706
Orange County Choppers Motorcycles 3,223
Under Armour Apparel 3,068
Elle Magazine 2,553
Big Black Apparel 1,843
Metzeler Motorcycle Parts-Access 1,794
Airgas Industrial Supplier 1,772
Monster Energy Isotonic Drinks 1,562
New Era Cap Hats 1,432
New York Yankees Baseball Team 1,381
Total: Top Ten 22,334
Source: Nielsen

Top product placement brands on broadcast TV

Brand Product Category Total #
Coca-Cola Soft Drinks 2,990
24-Hour Fitness Fitness Centers/Clubs 1,765
Chef Revival Apparel 1,308
AT&T Wireless Telephone Services 701
Pussycat Dolls Lounge Nightclubs 602
Nike Sporting Footwear 575
Freemotion Fitness Exercise Equipment 409
Chicago Bears Football Team 383
Nike Apparel 378
Precor Exercise Equipment 374
Total: Top Ten 9,485
Source: Nielsen

Negative ads up 100% in 2008 so far

Kearsarge Global Advisors says that so far in 2008, $20,826,032 have been spent on 55,019 spots in 33 states, along with minimal national cable placements. Year-to-date spending increased more than 100% in the first three weeks of September. From September 1st through the 23rd, campaigns spent $10,872,849, as compared to $9,953,183 in the prior eight months combined. KGA initially forecast that a minimum of $66 mln will be spent on negative ads related to issues such as outsourcing, tax breaks, trade with China, NAFTA/CAFTA, foreign ownership, and “unfair” trade policies.

2.8% of households wordlwide to have Internet TV by 2012

Global subscriptions to Internet-based TV are on track to reach 19.6 mln subscribers in 2008, a 64% increase, according to Gartner. Revenue from worldwide Internet protocol television is forecast to reach $4.5 bln, up 93.5% from a year earlier, with Western Europe boasting the largest number of IPTV subscribers and North America the largest market for IPTV revenue. 1.1% of households worldwide would be using IPTV in 2008, and expects that to rise to 2.8% by 2012.

0.5% of Americans’ entertainment budgets designated for online video buys

Just 0.5% of Americans’ movie budget is spent downloading or streaming movies and TV shows from the Web, NPD reports. 41% of dollars budgeted for movies and video was spent on DVD movie purchases, 11% for purchases of TV programs on DVD, and 29% on DVD rentals, 18% was spent on movie tickets. When asked how they watched a full-length movie in the past three months, 67% of respondents said they viewed a DVD they owned, while 50% watched a rented DVD and 18% opted for a VOD movie. Another 8% said they viewed movies on portable media devices, while 6% downloaded a movie from a free file-sharing service and watched on a computer or TV. Just 2% paid for a digital video download from the Web; however, more than half (52%) reported visiting sites such as YouTube to watch streaming video.

TV-related activities done online

Read background info about a show’s cast member 39%
Viewed a show’s previews 38%
Read background info about the show or the show’s characters 37%
Viewed a behind-the-scenes video clip 27%
Read or viewed a show’s cast member interview 26%
Viewed a show’s bloopers 22%
Viewed a show’s deleted scenes 20%
Source: Nielsen

20% of US households watch online TV

Online TV viewing has been gaining in popularity. 20% of American households who use the internet watch television broadcasts online, double the viewership from 2006, The Conference Board reports. The top two destinations for online broadcasts are the official TV channel homepage and YouTube.com.

Being able to watch broadcasts on their own time and at their convenience are the top reasons users tune in online. Other reasons include avoiding commercials and portability. Nearly 72% of online households log on for entertainment purposes on a daily basis, and one in ten cites entertainment as the most important internet activity. The top five types of shows viewed online are news, drama, sitcom/comedy, reality shows and sports, with user generated content following close behind. Among consumers connecting to online broadcasts, 43% tune into the news, 39% watch drama shows, 34% view sitcom/comedy shows, 23% watch reality shows, 16% view sports, and 15% view user generated content.