Anti-social media behaviour disorder
Last week was a busy one for news. Boris thanked the Olympics for introducing stranger conversations on the tube, a Scotsman won a long tennis match, Cameron apologised for Hillsborough and the Duchess of Cambridge snapped at getting snapped.
Closer to home and the NRS released its new Print and Digital Data (PADD). We now know for the first time how many people read newspapers and magazines in print, online, one or the other or both. In an environment of declining readership and circulation, the figures for some of the broadsheet newspapers especially were very exciting for the publishers indeed. This is the boost the press industry has been waiting for.
The next natural step for the NRS is to bring together print, online and mobile reading and plans are already underway. We have to remember that tablet ownership is just 11% of the population. Next we will want to have all media consumption in one dataset. We can now digitise print advertising and the technology already exists to passively measure media consumption via mobile apps, whether its radio listening or geo-location for outdoor advertising. It just takes time and money to bring this all together and the marriage of data analytics and survey research is a hot topic in media research conferences.
All this talk of multimedia exposure makes me think wistfully about my recent week’s holiday in France where I had absolutely no access to any media whatsoever. No newspapers, magazines (certainly not French ones), television, radio or Internet. I had no knowledge of what was going on in the world, let alone at work, for seven whole days. It was just me and my family absorbing the beautiful Loire Valley with its chateaux, caves, sunflowers and vines. To some people, avoiding media is an impossible exercise. Ed Miliband tried it or said he did. For me, it was sheer bliss. It was a treat not reading a tweet. I relaxed really quickly, which is something I rarely do on holiday and it gave my brain a complete defrag. Call me anti-social, but it was the perfect antidote to today’s relentless media exposure or, in the case of some royal photos, overexposure.