Washington Post: As viewing habits change, political campaigns must change their habits, as well

Obama TV

GSG’s Julie Hootkin recently presented a survey that found the country has reached “a tipping point” in the competition for viewers between traditional live television and other forms of viewing content. The survey, which was conducted by GSG and Public Opinion Strategies, took a closer look at the viewing habits of voters and their implications for political campaigns.

“Video on demand, streaming, smartphones and tablets have changed viewing habits. In the past three years, according to the survey, the percentage of people watching streaming content — think “House of Cards” on Netflix — has roughly doubled, to 27 percent of the population. Viewing content on smartphones has about doubled to roughly the same percentage of users. Tablet viewing has jumped from 14 percent to 26 percent in less than two years.

These changes in viewing habits coincide with the dramatic growth in the prevalence of smartphones and tablets. Today, two-thirds of the population has a smartphone; more than half said they have a tablet.

Smartphones were not in general use during the 2008 campaign, when President Obama’s team supposedly broke the mold in its employment of new technology. By the 2012 campaign, the smartphone became a hot new platform not only for the delivery of political messages and content, but also for fundraising.

Television ads are still the best way to reach large numbers of people, but as the audience continues to fragment and viewing habits change, campaigns are being forced to diversify the ways in which they deliver their messages.”

In addition to the Washington Post, the survey has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Time, ABC News, CBS News, Politico, NPR, Huffington Post, Campaigns & Elections, Politico Morning Score, among others. To read the full Washington Post article, click here.


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