With nearly 70-million iPod users, Nielsen Media Research is finally researching iPod owner habits. What did they find?
iPod owners use their iPods to listen to music. What about all the other uses?
With the exception of the low end iPods, Apple throws in more than just music playback capability.
Starting two years ago, some iPod models would synchronize digital photos with iPhoto.
Then Apple launched the movie capable iPod and TV shows, movies, and videos could be viewed on an iPod.
Still, five years after the launch of the iPod and less than two years after a video capable iPod, what do most iPod users do with their iPods?
They listen to music. Sure, the iPod can store notes, email, digital photos, videos, and even allows you to listen to radio.
Number one on the Nielsen list is music.
The Hollywood Reporter published some Neilsen data for the iPod’s audience which called into question the popularity of video.
Rather, the lack of popularity, according to Nielsen.
What’s the top use of an iPod for most owners? Remarkably, it’s listening to music, according to the panel of 400 iPod users surveyed.
How about video? According to THR, less than 1-percent of items played by iPod users, on iTunes or the iPod itself, were videos.
This is where we get to the “Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics” reporting so common these days. THR says that, “Among video iPod users, that percentage barely improves, up to 2.2-percent.”
Did you spot the obvious problem with that analysis? Barely improves? Or more than doubles? See if you can spot the obvious in the following facts:
That’s a little like saying that total TV viewership is just 2-percent of the time the refrigerator is in use. Why?
Most of those iPods in the survey are not video capable iPods. Remember, iPods with video have only been around just over year, vs. five years for music-playing-only iPods.
The second part of the statistic shows that 11-percent of the time video capable iPods playing video.
While that may seem low, considering that TV shows and movies range in time from 30-minutes to two hours, and a song may average three or four minutes, the habits are different; listening vs. watching.
Music can be listened to for hours at a time, and we often listen to the same songs over and over again.
That’s not so with video. The iPod may store TV shows and movies but viewing habits are different.
Since this is the first in what will be a series of surveys and statistical analysis, we need to be aware of trends. How will the numbers fare this time next year?
Other statistics that are notable include the 13-percent of US households that have an iPod.
That indicates a strong upside for future iPod growth.
Approximately 30-perecent of those, or less than 4-percent of US households, are video enabled iPods; again showing a strong upside for future growth potential.
Which is it? Limited appeal or tremendous upside?
Numbers from other sources would indicate tremendous upside as video begins to mature on portable devices.
For example, Apple, over five years of iPod sales, has sold over 1.5-billion songs from the iTunes Store, and approximately 45-million videos (music videos, TV shows, etc.).
How about movies? Walt Disney announced that over 500,000 movies were sold during the first two months following their launch on the iTunes Store.
Clearly, music dominates portable devices and that’s likely to continue for years to come. Video remains in its infancy, though continuing to show steady growth.
What of the convergence of music and video into cell phones? Cell phone manufacturers, wireless telephone companies, and media pundits believe that’s the future.
What of Apple? Our favorite Mac and iPod maker continues to display remarkable discipline and foresight, not jumping headfirst into a new market, but allowing both demand and technology to mature to appropriate levels for Apple’s entry.
What of iPod owners, like you and me? Do you listen only to music on your iPod, or have you ventured into TV shows and movies.
What will it take in the way of an Apple product to make you more of a portable video user? Share your considerations with other Mac360 readers in the Comments section below.