They can be true or corrupted. You can churn them, burn them or turn them. You can manipulate them up or down. Numbers can be twisted to tell any story or support most any bias. As an old saying goes, “facts are stubborn but statistics are pliable.” But even that considered, some of the many data points cranked out by research firms can still give an interesting glimpse into the state of things.
For this edition of the occasional Metue: By the Numbers Report, we’ve gathered data from across a handful of recent surveys to shed light on media, entertainment and technology. By the numbers:
• The number of unique viewers watching online video in the US fell 2.5% in April compared to April of 2008. 115,691,000 people tuned in. But while the numbers were down slightly in audience, they were up in both total streams and audience. April 2009 delivered 9,452,996,000 streams, up 24.2%. Especially interesting, and a sign of changing viewing habits (perhaps), the average time per viewer was up 58.1% (via Nielsen).
• So who or what drove April’s growing time-per-view? Well, also according to Nielsen, Hulu’s the growth machine to watch. Though YouTube is still far and away the top video brand with 5.5b streams for the month, Hulu grew 490% in April to pass 373m streams. It’s a distant second but its based on a different type of offering and audience. The demographics? YouTube built the video category on the backs of younger audiences soaking up short form video clips. Hulu’s monetizing and growing long form with the help of an older crowd. 35 to 49 year olds were the fastest growing group when measuring time spent watching per viewer (a key metric for evaluating the acceptance of longer form video).
• What kind of usage goes with iPhone Apps? According to a Greystripe survey, the average application is accessed 19.9 times over its life and used for 9.6minutes a session. And who is using the aps? 42% of iPhone app users have a household income of $78,000 or more, while 15% earn $165,000 or more and 44% have children. (via Greystripe)
• Back to web with a dose of crossover and convergence…. Web to TV content growing fast? In-Stat says the number of US households accessing the programming will reach 24 million by 2013. The revenue pool will balloon to $2.9 billion. And a place for game consoles in that? Already, the survey says, 29% of US adults between 25 and 34 use game consoles to watch Internet video. (via Instat)
• Twitter staying power? Is Twitter a peaking fad or a lasting phenomenon? According to Nielsen, the microblogging service has an enormous rate of churn, that is, audience retention is not great. Nielsen says about 60% of people abandon the service after a month. And that data includes an update to take into consideration other websites and applications that feed the Twitter microcosm. (via Nielsen)
• Are we dependent on our tech toys? Too much so? Almost two thirds of American’s (65%) think so according to a survey by Harris Interactive. At the same time, the same survey found nearly three quarters of American’s (73%) believe investment in innovation and technology are key to the countries long term success. (The Harris Poll)
• Are multiplayer online games going to draw even more people? Research firm Screen Digest says yes. The subscription-based MMOG market grew by 22% in 2008 and reached consumer spending levels of $1.4 billion in North America and Europe. By 2013 the firm expects the market will crest beyond $2b. (via Screen Digest)
• Hello Blu Ray. According to NPD sales of Blu-ray players were up 72% in the first quarter to a total of more than 400k units. Dollar sales hit $107.2m, a 14% gain and at the same time average prices for the units dropped 34%. Decreasing costs and increased consumer awareness is helping fuel adoption of the players. (via NPD)
• Concert ticket sales not holding up? In earnings, Live Nation reported attendance at its events was off 22.6% in the first quarter compared to the prior year. Revenue per customer was up, however. Seems a case of fewer customers attending but buying their tickets at higher ticket prices? (via Live Nation)
• The gaming conundrum: for all the revenue growth and expansion of the video game industry (in 2008, 9 computer or video games were sold on average, every second), the cost of developing games has also expanded, making profitability harder to achieve. As the market attempts to adapt, one of the measures taken by struggling studios is cost cuts. According to one report the pink slips part of that has added up to 8,450 industry professionals laid off since July. 75% of these are in North America. (via Gamasutra).
• Old news: album sales, including CDs and digital downloads, fell 45% between 2000 and 2008, according to Nielsen SoundScan. New news: U.S. album sales were down 9.2% year over year in April. That’s an improvement compared to a 17.9% decline in March and an 11.5% deficit in February. Does it meaning anything other than the titles hitting the market were in higher demand? Probably not. Year-to-date album sales are down 12.5% (via Nielsen Soundscan).
Related Articles from Metue
• April NPD Results: Gaming Report Card
• Gaming Short Takes: Rock Band Billion, Sims DRM, and Eidos Shareholder Vote
• By the Numbers: Video Games DVD Erosion and Smartphones
• News Evolution: Seattle P-I Goes Digital and New Data from Pew
• 2008 Print Ad Revenue Tally: Scorecard Bad
• Nielsen Quantifies 2008 Ad Spending Decline
• Stat Survey: Struggling at the Presses
•Data Dump: Numbers and Industry Statistics
• iTunes by the Numbers: 5 Billion Served
• By the Numbers: Comparative Statistics
• By The Numbers: 2007 Stats Recap
•By the Numbers, Episode 3: Media Stats
•By the Numbers: Episode 2: Media Stats
•By the Numbers, Episode 1