A few years ago informitv produced a report entitled Why We Watch Television, a subject that has intrigued me since my PhD thesis many years ago. Last week, Thinkbox, the marketing body for commercial television in the United Kingdom, published its latest research on the reasons we watch television and video. It identified eight need states that help explain the enduring popularity of live television. While the popular psychology meets marketing categories may be arguable, analysing and appreciating the uses that people make of television and video is critical to an informed understanding of the medium and central to our strategic consultancy.