Media Insights Q&A with Howard Horowitz - Charlene Weisler

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Howard Horowitz is best known for his eponymous company Horowitz Associates, Inc. a full-service market research company specializing in research for distributors, networks and technology companies on television, digital and multiplatform services and content. In this interview, Howard discusses his background in political, media and market research, trends over past decade in the multicultural landscape culminating in the release of Census 2010, and the anticipated impact on the ways and means of television usage with the coming of age of a new generation of young people.

Below is an excerpt of a longer interview, captured on five short videos. The videos can be viewed at www.WeislerMedia.blogspot.com.

Subject Length (in minutes)
Background (4:43)
Multicultural (4:58)
TV Trends (7:57)
Age Differences in Media (7:17)
Predictions, OTT (5:11)

CW: Howard can you talk to us about some of the findings in your recent Multicultural study which is base don't he recent US Census?

HH: Absolutely. We hold an annual forum on Multicultural Media for Multicultural America. We have been working on this topic since the mid 1990s when we first developed the idea for the forum, and recently hosted our 11th Annual event. The first was in the year 2000 upon the release of the previous census. The major hypothesis that drives this forum from the beginning is that America's urban, cultural markets – African American, Hispanic, and Asian – are cable and broadband's most valuable customers. Earlier forums concentrated on pay TV as a category. Our latest forum is focused on multi-platform media for multicultural audiences. This year, we examined how the three major multicultural segments use new technology, multi-platform media, traditional television, On Demand and DVR television, broadband television and mobile. Across the years of the Forum, the category of multicultural research and marketing remains our constant theme; the topic areas progress with the developments in technology and the general market.

CW: In terms of trends, what do you see as the differences between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census?

HH: It's not so much difference. It's more confirmation. The 2010 Census shows two things. Number one is that multicultural audiences are currently very close to majority status where the 2000 Census showed that these groups were on the road to majority status. In the 2000 Census the concentration of multicultural markets was almost exclusively the major urban centers. The 2010 Census now shows tremendous growth in the secondary US markets – Alabama, the Carolinas even Idaho, Nevada etc. So this population shift is a spreading phenomenon. Implication-wise, we continue to recognize that these highly segmented markets are important for potential sales growth and opportunities. In 2010, we now have to consider that our general marketing efforts need to be broadened to include multicultural elements. And that is because multicultural America is America.

CW: In one of your recent studies you detected shifts in media usage. Can you speak to that?

HH: Yes. We produce two major syndicated studies. One is the State of Cable and Digital Media which focuses more on traditional, DVR and On Demand television, and on the bundled multichannel broadband and voice services provided to consumers. And the other is called Multiplatform Content Services which focuses on consumer adoption of different technologies, and how they are using those technologies for information, communication and entertainment. The major growth area we are finding is in the entertainment portion of overall usage, a profound shift on devices that are traditionally known as communication and information devices. Of course, social media straddles the communication and entertainment uses of technology, so communication, in this sense, is also a growing usage area. Overlaying it all is increasingly ubiquitous video capability on an array of new consumer devices. Now consumers – in various age ranges and various household structures – have a large choice in how they receive television content. Notably, all these forms seem to have a healthy future.

Interview conducted by Charlene Weisler, Weisler Media LLC. She can be reached through her research blogwww.WeislerMedia.blogspot.comor atWeislerMedia@yahoo.com.

Read all Charlene's MediaBizBloggers commentaries at Charlene Weisler.

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