The Internet of Things and Your Audience

The so called “Internet of Things” is developing quickly and is no longer explained as your refrigerator warning that you are low on milk and cheese.

theinternetofthings2Effectively, it’s the third wave of the internet.  Wave 1 was in the 90’s when the fixed internet connected 1 billion users via PC’s.  Then the mobile internet of the 2000’s connected 2 billion users via smartphone. Now wave 3, the internet of things, is expected to connect 28 billion things to the internet by 2020 ranging from wearables, cars, appliances, and industrial equipment.  Naturally, the repercussions will be huge, but many years from now, I think it will be the speed of that comparative change that will leave us with our heads spinning.

While this will change how all of our devices – screen or otherwise – communicate around us, it’s worth thinking about how the internet of things will change how we consume and how we experience.

Content makers take note because the internet of things will also overhaul audience measurement in a way that will leave it unrecognisable in a very short time.  After all, from signing into any website or volunteering to be tracked, the audience can now be asked about how they discovered your content, how they engaged with your content, how and why did they complete consumption, and what are their reflections.

All fantastic stuff to know, so long as you then pledge to do something with all of that information.  No doubt more companies will get this wrong then get it right, but even small changes can go a long way.

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Weekly Review: The web gets ready for its 25th anniversary

A relatively quiet week compared to the quick pace of change established so far this year.  Facebook’s acquisition of What’sApp is still generating waves of reaction. Surprisingly, while WhatsApp has 200 million users worldwide, there are only 7 million users within the US, which puts the headline-making 230% growth into context.

Elsewhere, the Web turns 25 this month.  The anniversary marks the release in 1989 of a paper written by Sir Tim Berners-Lee who proposed an “information management” system that later became the architectural structure of the web.  The upcoming anniversary has been covered here in a 2-minute clip by the BBC and the impact of the web in the US has already been covered extensively by Pew Internet.

Given Nielsen’s vast scope of media measurement services, it’s well worth paying attention when CEO Mitch Barnes speaks of the changes he/they see coming in video consumption – because you know they have the data to support their predictions.  Staying with the data theme, Charlene Weisler, shed some light on Project Blueprint, which is causing some waves now that it has some investment from ESPN.  The cross-measurement project consists of a mix of comScore’s hybrid online & mobile measurement, Nielsen (once Arbitron) Portable People Meters for TV, Radio and Out-of-home, as well as 5 million top box data households from an array of sources. This magnitude of resources demonstrates what it takes to move ahead in the field of cross-platform measurement.

News organisations, who are already seeing declining audiences in the early evenings as people’s news tastes have either splintered across many more sources or they might be returning from work already news-saturated, might have another competitor to worry about. Slate is getting serious about a daily evening podcast.  After a rocky start, podcasts are quickly moving into the mainstream with consumers becoming increasingly savvy, not to mention there is some great content out there.

Meanwhile, this week in the US, many media researchers will be paying attention to the latest tech usage trends from the Infinite Dial.  For the first time, the annual study is being co-presented by Edison Research and Triton Digital – a good thing in my opinion.  Few will be surprised to hear that 1/3 of US adults tune into Pandora each month, as Triton’s own monthly rankers show.  Still, the webinar is well worth a listen to – so sign up!