Internet TV Viewership Doubles since 2006
September 4, 2008
Being ahead of the technology curve has its advantages, such as being able to watch TV programming when you want, where you want, and how you want. The Internet has given this gift to millions of file-sharers well before the days of streaming media, and it seems the transition from TV to the Internet is well underway. According to a new study from The Conference Board and TNS
, Internet TV viewership has doubled since 2006.
Most popular TV shows have a supporting web site, and within that website is a streaming media player that the end user can watch any episode on demand. No BitTorrent, P2P, or file-sharing necessary. Just load up your favorite show's website on the browser and off you go. The advantage of this over P2P is the simplicity involved: no client, indexing site, just direct click and watch technology.
The disadvantage of this is the quality may not be high definition, and more often than not, the TV show cannot be downloaded or transferred to a portable device. However, for those looking to avoid the hassle of learning BitTorrent or the newsgroups, the ability to stream TV shows whenever desired is catching on.
"The shift from appointment TV to content on demand is well underway," says Michael Saxon, Senior Vice President, Brand and Communications, TNS. "Fundamentally, consumers expect content to be available when they want it, and on the screen of their choice -- TV, PC, or mobile. For consumers, PCs enhance content on demand from simply time-shifting to place-shifting. Online content can be viewed in any room in the house, or at work or school.”
The most popular avenue according to the study was going directly to the TV show's website, followed by YouTube. YouTube is generally considered a good resource for watching small segments of a TV show, or just the most interesting parts. However, YouTube is crawling with entertainment industry agents, looking for copyrighted material. A show that might have been online 5 minutes ago could very well vanish due to a copyright complaint.
As broadband becomes faster and more widespread (we hope), streaming media will become increasingly accepted as the chosen method to watch TV shows. Quality has to improve of course, as watching a 600x400 resolution show on a 1080p monitor is a bit disappointing. The transition is happening though, and soon enough, stand alone TVs will be little more than museum pieces.
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