What Is Digital Attention Span?
In This Episode
Jack talks about how the internet, social media and mobile technology has impacted our attention spans and how Netflix, Amazon and iTunes changed the way consumers make decisions.
You'll learn why Digital Attention Span isn't the same as a Short Attention Span and how getting past the 8 Second Digital Attention Span Filter can lead to hours long binge consumption of concise valuable content.
Expand To Read Full Transcript Of This Episode
Raw Transcript using TEMI.com
All right, there is the official introduction music to the digital attention span podcasts, because anything longer would be kind of ironic and defeat the purpose, right? So I am your host Jack Mize, and on behalf of myself and my partner, good buddy Brian Horn. I'd like to welcome you to the digital attention span podcast show that's dedicated to helping entrepreneurs, business owners, professionals like yourself to grow your business in the digital attention span economy. So I guess the best way to kick this off probably is let's define digital attention span at least as we apply it to a small businesses entrepreneurship and creating content to attract new prospects and customers. So there was a study a few years ago done by Microsoft where they discovered that our attention span apparently has whittled down to about eight seconds, uh, and that's down from about 12 seconds from the year 2000 and they theorized that it was a result of our brain's ability to adapt and change.
Uh, and it was really a side effect of the evolution of the mobile Internet that was. Report has some really good information, but a lot of marketers to the began to panic and they started just creating short content that they think, you know, that's what this means. We just need to create short content. People don't have the ability to pay attention. And he saw onslaught of a really short videos and a digital billboards that would change their ads every six seconds. And infographics, replacing articles, short content for short attention spans. That makes sense, right? It's more complicated than that. And it can be extremely profitable for those that understand the bigger picture. So according to a binge watching study by Netflix, uh, they found out that subscribers who finished the first season of a show did so within about a week's time span. So these viewers are spending a significant amount of time, about two hours a day watching these shows.
Have you start paying attention out there on the, uh, on the Internet and in social media, uh, not just at the content, but look at what people are doing and how they are interacting with their customers and their prospects. Uh, if you think about it, ted talks, they are timed to precisely 18 minutes valley, 10 minutes really isn't a long time for a deep content talk, but they are highly addictive and most people end up watching more than one at a time. Amazon has a bestseller list that's dedicated to books that take less than 15 minutes to read. They actually have their kindle short list, or are you the 15 minutes, 30 minute books, 60 minute books, books that take less than 90 minutes to read and they're extremely popular. However, print book sales are up over 10 percent since 2013. So how is it that we can only hold our attention for eight seconds, but we can still watch 12 hours of the walking dead in just a few days.
So if you think about it this way, and this is really the key to the digital attention span. And uh, it's why digital attention span is not synonymous with short attention span. Uh, and this is why what's happened is people have become highly selective to the content that they are going to devote their attention to. So while this might mean that they pay little attention, maybe only eight seconds to the content that they ended up filtering out, it also means that they engage and consume a significantly longer the content that they let in. So the rather than thinking about this as we've developed as consumers and eight second attention span, it's better and it's what a lot of really profitable and really smart companies have done is they recognize this as an eight second filter because you know consumers and you don't even have to guess because you and I were consumers.
Think about it. You're bombarded daily with emails, social media, text messages, youtube videos. Even the president of the United States has preferred communication platform is twitter. So some very dramatic and not so casual changes have occurred over the last five to 10 years on how we as consumers make decisions. So I want you to take just a second and go back in your mind. Take 10 years back, right? Just 10 years. And if you look back 10 years ago and say eight to 10 years ago, think about when you wanted to rent a video. What did you do? Chances are you went to a blockbuster and you didn't just run in and pick a movie. You would spend sometimes hours sifting through that store, making a decision. You would walk up and down the aisles looking at the movies, looking at the different categories, trying to make that decision on what you wanted to watch that night, and then you would actually spend the time to bring it back within three days or pay a fine.
That seems almost absurd today, even though it was really, it was less than 10 years ago that we did this record stores. I remember the days when I would spend hours in a record store. I'm just enjoying the experience of being around the music, listening to what they were playing in the store. Uh, you know, very rarely did you actually get to, to get samples of the music that you were looking at, but you would go through and you would look at the albums, you know, their, their cds. You had read the liner notes, you would look at the pictures, you would discover a new artist. It was a completely different experience than what we have now. Record stores have pretty much become extinct and even more recently, the bookstore, probably within the last five to eight years, you've actually spent an hour or more in a barnes and noble, a reading books sitting in the chair, drinking the coffee.
I'm looking through books, actually reading a good chunk of some of them, uh, to make a decision on whether or not you wanted to buy that or not. So you can see what those examples. This isn't something that happened gradually over 50 years. These are all things that have happened within the last five to 10 years and it's changed. It had a huge impact on the way that consumers make their decisions and a reality. Netflix, Amazon, spotify, itunes, they're not only quite possibly responsible for this digital attention span, but they know very well how to appeal to it. They know how to market to the digital attention span and they know exactly how the decision process has changed. The Internet is overloaded. US with choices. What we used to devote hours to filtering has been reduced to a minutes, even seconds, and what that means to you as a business owner, as an entrepreneur is that the way that you attract customers has changed as well.
So regardless of your business, regardless of the product or service that you are selling, the first step in doing that and getting more customers and attracting more prospects is getting past that eight second filter. And once you do that, you can focus on creating a binge worthy experience that keeps your customers coming back and even recommending you to their friends, to their family, and even strangers. And that's what digital attention span dotcom is dedicated to. It's what this podcast is dedicated to. So if you like what you've heard so far, go ahead and subscribe to jump over to digital attention span. That's where you get access to tools, templates, and trainings, uh, that can help you navigate your way through this digital attention span economy. So stay tuned because we're going to be evolving a lot of really cool ideas that can help your business tremendously. So until the next episode, remember, you are the only real game changer.