Simultaneous media usage: a critical consumer orientation to media planning


  • Joseph J. Pilotta,

    Corresponding author
    1. Ohio State University, BIGresearch, 3131 Derby Hall, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA
    • Ohio State University, BIGresearch, 3131 Derby Hall, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA
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    • Joseph J. Pilotta is Vice President of Research at BIGresearch and has written 10 books. His most recent papers (co-authored with Gary Drenik and Philip Rist) have been accepted by the Journal of Advertising Research and the International Journal of Public Opinion Research.

  • Don E. Schultz,

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    • Don E. Schultz is presently Professor (Emeritus) of Integrated Marketing Communications at the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University. Following a successful career in advertising, he obtained a Master's degree in advertising and a PhD in mass media from Michigan State University while also teaching in the MSU Department of Advertising. He has consulted, lectured, held seminars and written extensively on integrated marketing communication, marketing, branding, advertising, sales promotion and communication management worldwide.

  • Gary Drenik,

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    • Gary Drenik is President and CEO of BIGresearch and has developed successful products for media and retail clients for more than a decade. Together with Prosper Business Development Corporation co-founder Philip Rist, he generated more than $100 million in revenue for clients with the Total Target CampaignTM, an integrated marketing service for local media companies.

  • Philip Rist

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    • Philip Rist is Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at BIGresearch, and a founding member and Managing Director of Prosper Business Development Corporation. He secured such clients as Gannett, Bell Atlantic, Crains Communications, Cox Communications, Sprint and Arbitron and established BIGresearch as the exclusive provider of consumer data to the National Retail Federation.


This research study is the third in a series of surveys exploring the incidence of simultaneous media usage among a national sample of US consumers. The research is based on 12,322 respondents who were sampled via an online network. The findings show that simultaneous media usage, ie multiple exposures to various media forms at a single point in time for the same media consumer, occurs in and among a substantial portion of the US media population. The existence of simultaneous media exposures, created by multi-tasking consumers, is a fact in today's media marketplace. The existence of simultaneous media exposures undermines most current media measurement systems as they are defined as isolated environments. Thus, the challenge of this paper is for media management to rethink how media evaluations should be rethought for the 21st century. Copyright © 2004 Henry Stewart Publications Ltd.