The Nielsen Company for The Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) said on Tuesday that it has found that approximately 81 million people, which would be 63% of the 129 million broadband Internet users in the United States, engage in one degree or another of regular video watching online.
However, this online viewing had barely any negative impact, if any negative impact at all, on television viewing, as the video viewing tended to be additional viewing of movies, documentaries, newscasts, and other genres of video, not a replacement for watching television.
Online video rendering quality and Internet connections’ increasing bandwidth capacities have both expanded rapidly over the last two or three years, making watching videos online more and more of an edifying or entertaining experience.
The immense popularity of YouTube and Google Video have brought scores of new videos-amateur and professional, bootleg and authentic, comic and tragic, serious and silly-into people’s homes and offices. There is barely a topic that does not have some kind of video about it that a person can download for free onto a site-embedded video screen or a Windows Media Player and watch, and re-watch.
Many times these videos end up being recordings of television shows, DVDs, rock concerts, or online radio shows with video choreography. Such videos call into question copyright violations and intellectual property rights being trespassed on.
But the general consensus is that there is little threat of artists or producers starving to death. The videos are often of questionable quality, and many producers see their existence as a chance for free publicity to a wider audience who would otherwise have not been aware of their work.
Television stations and news media have shrewdly learned to take advantage of this rapidly-growing trend in video accessing by placing their television shows online for viewers to watch commercial-free (a few commercials are still shown but the viewer has a timer telling her when the commercial ends, and the sound can be turned off) and at their convenience. The same is being done with news stories.
The new Nielson report in fact mentions that ABC is the most-viewed online video source, largely due to its online-placement of successful television shows like “Lost”.
“Linking television viewing data with Internet usage behavior goes far beyond what traditional survey-based research methods can offer to help content providers best manage the growth of television and broadband video platforms. The fusion of these discrete Nielsen data sets into a single, unified analysis provides the most complete benchmark of broadband content viewing behavior to date,” said Paul Donato, Chief Research Officer of The Nielsen Company.
“There have been major changes over the last 30 years in how television is consumed–the remote control, portable TV, time shifting DVRs–but one of the most dramatic promises to be television via the Internet,” said Tim Brooks, Research Committee liaison to the CTAM Board of Directors and Executive Vice President of Research with Lifetime Television.
Sources of information used to research this news story:
The Nielson Co. (PR Newswire), “81 Million People in U.S. Watch Broadband Video at Home or Work, According to Nielsen and CTAM”