Apr 23, 2009

Trends: Online Video UP, Channels Down

an old TVAs agencies look to add more video to their content mix, it's important to keep an eye on current video and TV habits. 
[T]elevision viewership is quickly splintering across a number of platforms like computers, phones, and set-top boxes. But in spite of this trend, viewership on all platforms (including the good old boob tube) is actually up. Online video hubs like YouTube and Hulu have also grown in appeal, as 74 percent of the study’s 14,000 respondents said they would enjoy watching TV via the computer. This increase not only represents a 13 percent bump year-over-year, but also the growth potential of the platform. As more and more video hubs net premium content deals, it seems likely that consumer interest in online viewing will continue to rise.

Surprisingly, Accenture’s respondents also expressed a lack of loyalty towards branded channels. Put simply, this means viewers were fiercely loyal to their favorite shows, but less loyal towards a show’s parent channel. Given the plethora of viewing outlets available to consumers (broadcast, online, mobile, cable provided on-demand, etc), and the myriad pay options available for these services (subscription, ad-supported, pay-to-play) this actually makes sense. As video distribution outlets pop up left and right, there’s basically a non-broadcast option available for everyone. --Read the whole post on Venture Beat.
Two trends I wanted to track here. First, it is critical to recognize the different ways that people are consuming video. TV is still popular, but there is no longer a common time that people watch a TV show--save popular sporting events. People watch a show when and where they want, sometimes with complete ads, sometimes with no ads, sometimes skipping ads. People don't rush home for their favorite shows. They can watch when it's convenient--after the kids are in bed or after studying on a less busy night.

Second, this cornucopia of viewing choice allows people to connect to the content itself--not who created it. The drive is to get the shows from their preferred outlet whether it's broadcast, digital video recorder (like TiVO), over the internet online to a TV or computer, downloaded to a personal device like an IPOD. The particular broadcast channel is unimportant. Again, the video consumer is taking more control.

While there has been a fair amount of attention--and plenty of concern--on the effects of the Internet on newspapers, it's important to also track the disruption in traditional television viewing. 

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