Monday, May 22, 2006

Multitasking Marches On -- But the Link is Still Missing

The growing opportunity in media multitasking is nicely summarized in the recent N Y Times article, At an Industry Media Lab, Close Views of Multitasking. It reports on the Emerging Media Lab at Interpublic, and notes that "market researchers are still struggling to understand the realities of what has been called "concurrent media usage."

But a point yet to be widely recognized is how support for coactivity is a key to increasing engagement. Researchers now recognize that "engagement" is a critical factor in media and advertising effectiveness. What is still missed is that our media can easily provide built in services to support coactivity -- what I call "coactive media" (notably"coactive TV" or "CoTV") -- that can aid in getting users more engaged.

This missing link makes the concurrent media relate to one another automatically, and thus make for a more engaged experience. This can be done at a platform level (much like a search engine) without adding any new burden to media producers.

Instead of the concurrent media distracting attention from one another, they can increase engagement -- by facilitating the reinforcement of one medium with another.

It is certainly important for researchers to learn how media multitasking occurs organically (as it does now), but it will be far more valuable (to users, producers, and advertisers) to create a platform that facilitates and focuses more purposeful coactivity!

(See the CoTV site for details on how easily this can be done.)

Tags: Simultaneous Media Use Concurrent Media Use