SOURCE: Integrated Media Measurement Inc.

December 19, 2007 10:00 ET

Late Night Talk Show Viewers Keep Watching the Tube During Writers' Strike

Research Report Shows Viewers of Late Night Talkers Not Abandoning Television; Study Reveals Surge in Channel Surfing Since Start of Strike

SAN MATEO, CA--(Marketwire - December 19, 2007) - Talk may be cheap in some parts of the country, but in Hollywood right now it is one of the most valuable commodities as the writers' strike enters its seventh week. The effects of the strike are most visible during the 11:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. timeslots as the late night talk shows rerun popular shows from the past.

A report just released by Integrated Media Measurement Inc. (IMMI), a leading provider of data to media companies and advertisers that links media exposure to consumer behavior, shows that viewers who are used to watching the late night talk shows can't unglue themselves from the television despite the lack of new content.

Before the strike, regular late night talk show viewers watched an average of 21.7 minutes of late night television. The average during the strike period remained statistically identical at an average of 20.8 minutes. The report also showed that while viewers watched almost the same amount of television, they used their remotes eight percent more, flipping around to watch a variety of programming including syndicated sitcoms, movies, sports and news. The wandering late night talk show viewers watched a broad range of show types and titles with no significant migration.

The IMMI data also revealed that regular late night talk show viewers did not pursue other activities, such as listening to radio, going to the movies, watching a DVD, reading a book or going to sleep.

"Despite the sudden halt of new talk shows caused by the writers' strike, there was virtually no change in consumer behavior in that people still watched television," said Amanda Welsh, head of research for Integrated Media Measurement Inc. "Watching late night television is a habit, one that the data shows consumers could not break. Even though most went to other types of programming, the tendency to be in front of the television at that hour remained very strong."

The study was implemented through a research panel built by IMMI that mirrors U.S. Census results for fundamental demographics in key markets. IMMI provides thousands of panel members in key markets with a mobile phone, asking them to carry it with them wherever they go. The mobile phone is equipped with a technology that creates digital signatures of all the audio media (television, radio and movies) to which it has been exposed. IMMI can determine viewing audiences, as well as certain types of consumer behavior based on a timeline of when the media was viewed or heard.

Integrated Media Measurement Inc. (IMMI) is the developer of an end-to-end media measurement system that links media exposure to consumer action. Using a mobile-phone-based digital monitoring system, IMMI tracks almost all media 24/7 and helps businesses evaluate the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns. IMMI is based in San Mateo, Calif. More information is available at

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