One out of every 10 online consumers watches TV broadcasts online, according to the latest Consumer Internet Barometer. The Barometer is produced by The Conference Board and custom research firm TNS, and it covers 10,000 U.S. households.
The top reasons online viewers watch TV online: personal convenience and avoiding commercials. Only a small percentage of consumers say their traditional TV viewing has decreased, while three out of every four report no change in their viewing habits.
More than two-thirds of online consumers log on daily for entertainment purposes and an additional 16 percent log on for entertainment several times a week. Of the one in 10 watching TV via the Internet, about one-third of these households consist of multiple viewers.
“Although online television viewing is not a widespread phenomenon, the proportion of users is likely to increase over time given consumers’ penchant for entertainment," commented Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center.
Anytime, Anywhere Trend
"This is representative of a larger trend toward anytime, anywhere viewing that includes the use of digital video recorders, video on demand and portable video players, such as the iPod," said Edye Twer, a TNS senior vice president specializing in the Media and Entertainment sector.
In addition to personal convenience and avoiding commercials, consumer say they watch TV online is because of portability and a preference for computer viewing.
Online viewers tend to watch news more often than other types of broadcasts, with more than 62 percent logging on for news content. Close to 50 percent go online for entertainment viewing. Other top draws noted by at least a quarter of viewers were catching up on missed content, previews, sports, and watching entire episodes of shows.
Viewers Won't Pay
The most popular methods for viewing TV broadcasts online are streaming and free downloads, cited by 53 percent and 49 percent of viewers, respectively. Very few consumers said they would be willing to pay per download or enroll in subscription services.
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