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Viacom’s Christian Kurz talks on the ‘disruptor generation’

MUMBAI: Providing global statistics on the ‘disruptor generation’ or the millenials as they are called, Viacom International Media Networks VP research and insights Christian Kurz stated that TV is stronger than ever before and is still the primary screen in the home, followed by mobile devices and then laptops or desktops.

Speaking at Mipcom 2014 in Cannes, Kurz gave two big insights which included TV being increasingly seen as more ‘legitimate, innovative and prolific’. Secondly, 63 per cent of global viewers believed that TV has never been this good, and 54 per cent said TV plays a bigger role in their lives than ever before.

Christian KurzHe stated, “It’s come to represent a friend, a parent. Its family time, it’s a companion, a window to engage with the world.”

What makes the difference, he highlighted, was a layer of engagement with the viewers.

Viacom is frequently among the top 10 tweeted-about TV shows in the US and the network’s shows are ‘really social’, he stated. The MTV Video Music Awards was the biggest social TV event of the summer, with 12.6 million tweets and 259 trending topics.

Another observation by Kurz was that television remains king, which means non-linear TV is complementing and is not replacing TV viewing.

His statistics revealed that 74 per cent of all people watch linear TV daily, while the numbers who have ‘connected’ TVs jumped to 81 per cent.

“Indeed, far from destroying the dominance of linear TV, what viewers are actually doing is better defining its role in their viewing portfolios,” he said.

Highlighting the difference, Kurz stated that linear is about building relationships around the content being watched, while non-linear is more personal, flexible, portable and immersive. It’s the difference between watching ‘Dora the Explorer’ on TV with your mother versus playing the Dora game on an app by yourself.

Thus, research is a key driver for Viacom which drives inventions for their ‘glocal’ businesses.

However, he also mentioned that millenials were born to adapt. His statistics revealed that in the past two years, online use of tablets increased by 74 per cent, connected TVs rose to 94 per cent and weekly use of online video services to consumer TV shows rose to 83 per cent.

“This means they use technology, bending and shaping it to their will, to extract the most from the content they’ve always loved. 72 per cent don’t care what screen or source they’re using as long as they can watch their shows, and 66 per cent have a different go-to device/source for different programmes. It’s about adapting. Not everything is equal,” Kurz said.

The project scope comprised 14 countries and 10,500 respondents, aged 6–34 years.