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A new study of broadband user habits by Yahoo! Inc. and the media buyer Mediaedge:cia finds consumers “meshing” broadband with other media. “Broadband doesn't make people want less of traditional media,” according to the research document. “Consumers mesh media. Media silos are dissolving.”

Media meshing is when a consumer begins an experience in one medium, then shifts to another to complement information or add another perspective. Broadband users are five times more likely to media mesh, the study found.

Of the 3,207 broadband online consumers surveyed by Yahoo!/Mediaedge, 37% said they have watched a TV show, then gone to an associated Web site to unravel plot twists, get insights into the show or try to guess what will happen next week.

Another 34% of broadband users have looked up Web sites mentioned in TV ads. Some 18% have participated in online polls while watching TV, while 11% have gone to the Web to find information about characters in a show.

“When consumers blend their new broadband capabilities with the benefits of other media, a new world emerges,” according to the research. “They customize a media experience by fitting the music and information more to their interests and tastes.”

Meshers, Yahoo! said, gain perspective, personalize experiences and get involved. “Sound bites and fluff are out,” Yahoo! concluded. “With all relevant information at hand, meshers feel empowered and in control. The consumer is no longer left hanging at the end of an article or episode. If they are outraged, they can express that opinion. If they are intrigued, they can follow up.

“Media meshing fulfills a need to become more deeply involved with hobbies, interests or stories that kindle passionate involvement,” Yahoo! said. “It satisfies the drive to not settle for a superficial or fleeting experience, but to be immersed in all aspects.”

The trend has important implications for marketers, Yahoo! said, because consumers are all meshing marketing messages across media. “Total communication planning based on the consumer's meshed media life should be our shared goal,” Yahoo! said.