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TV Downloading Doubles
September 7, 2006
Thomas Mennecke
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Downloading TV shows or short videos has quickly become a popular companion with music. Since the mainstream adoption of broadband, downloading marginally larger video files is no longer the time consuming inconvenience it once was.

The availability of TV shows online has grown with the arrival of mainstream P2P, YouTube, BitTorrent, Google Video, and similar avenues. Although the entertainment industry has impeded the number of TV shows and clips on YouTube, such influence is noticeably less on file-sharing networks. Denoting the explosive growth of video files, the Saturday Night Live clip, "The Chronic of Narnia", gained tremendous popularity online. The fun was over on YouTube however, when NBC forced the video site to remove all traces of the clip.

Considering the many facets of downloading available, and the tremendous variety of both authorized and unauthorized content, Ipsos' latest study found the number of Americans downloading at least one TV show has doubled since last year (~5 million in 2005, ~10 million in 2006.)

Demographically, males generally download more TV shows than females, (6% to 3%), yet the number of females downloading TV shows jumped from 1% in 2005 to 3% in 2006. The male Internet populace only gained 2% points from 2005.

The greatly coveted 12-34 age demographic featured the greatest percentage of TV show downloaders. Of those polled in the 12-17 age group, 8% said they've downloaded at least one TV show. The 18-24 age group featured the most prolific of downloaders, as 14% downloaded at least one TV show. Above 35 years of age, only 2% have ever downloaded a TV show.

The study also found that streaming music videos - an activity that is typically free - was very popular with the 12+ age group. Approximately 18%, or ~41 million Americans, stream music videos.

Although downloading small videos, video clips, music videos and TV shows is quickly gaining popularity, downloading full length movies still belongs to the cutting edge crowd. According to Ipsos' research, only 3% of Americans participate in this activity.

The study should come as a mixed blessing to the film entertainment industry. It reflects that a healthy digital video market is emerging, and online stores such as iTunes should be able to capitalize. Also, with the relatively low percentage of movie downloaders, the movie industry still has time to avoid a fate similar to the music industry. Yet as broadband speeds increase, the inconvenience of downloading a full length movie may soon disappear.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
File-Sharing/P2P Related :: Statistics/Analysis
File-Sharing/P2P Related :: Studies/Research

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