Online television viewing up

Duncan Riley - Author

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 3:54 p.m. ET

A survey from The Conference Board has found that one in five US households now watch television programs online, double the rate from 2006.

The notable part of the survey confirms what we already knew, that those who watch television shows online do so due to convenience and the ability to watch shows when they want, as opposed to set broadcasting schedules.

From the report:

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“Most consumers are pressed for time and require flexibility in their daily schedules and TV viewing habits,” says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “Being able to watch broadcasts on their own time and at their convenience are clearly reasons why we are seeing a greater number turning to the Internet. And, it is the reason why we would expect to see this trend continue.”

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The two most popular destinations for television content were the official site for the TV Channel/ show and YouTube. 72% of all online households reported using the Internet for entertainment purposes, with one in ten stating that entertainment was their number one activity online. Watched shows were divided, with 43 percent tuning into the news, 39 percent watch drama shows, 34 percent view sitcom/comedy shows, 23 percent watch reality shows, 16 percent view sports, and 15 percent view user generated content. On the last figure though it’s important to note that user generated content was asked in context of television shows not two minute YouTube clips, so that number isn’t representative of overall video content.

We’ve said it before: people are switching online to consume television shows despite those shows not being easily available in the lounge room. When on-demand television shows are a remote control click away on a big screen LCD, broadcast television is doomed.


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