Here is a very interesting statistic from the US: 16% of households who use the Internet are watching TV shows online. Even more interesting, the key reason behind this growing trend is that people are wanting to avoid TV commercials. I'd suggest this is an opportunity for alternative content producers (i.e. not TV stations) to use the Internet to gain an audience or for existing broacasters to multicast via TV and online (and ideally wireless to mobile devices too).
Consumers Watching More TV Online
Personal Convenience and Avoiding Commercials Key
By R. Thomas Umstead -- Multichannel News, 10/15/2007 10:35:00 AM
Nearly 16% of American households who use the Internet watch television broadcasts online, according to a report released Monday by The Conference Board and TNS.
The Consumer Internet Barometer survey says more than three out of five online TV viewers cite personal convenience as the major reason for watching TV broadcasts online, while more than one-third choose online viewing in order to avoid watching television commercials. Other reasons sited include portability and a preference for computer viewing.
“Although online television viewing is still not a widespread phenomenon, the proportion of users has increased since 2006 and is likely to increase over tie, given consumers’ love for entertainment,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center.
Online users catching up on missed content have increased to 42% from 30% a year ago, according to the report, which is based on a third quarter survey of 10,000 households. Consumers viewing entire episodes on the Internet have doubled, and now approximately half watch their favorite shows online.
“One reason that personal convenience is the top reason for online viewing is that much of the same content available for television viewers is also available online,” Franco said.
The top methods for viewing broadcasts online are streaming and free downloading, according to the report. About two-thirds of viewers stream online content, while more than 40% download content for free.
“Over the next few years, the growing popularity of viewing TV episodes/shows online is going to have a huge impact on the way brands and advertisers communicate with viewers,” TNS executive vice president of technology, telecommunications and media Shari Morwood said in a statement. “If advertisers can effectively leverage the online video platform, we should see much more interactivity and emotional connections between brands and he online TV viewing audience.”