TV show streaming in US increases dramatically: Study

MUMBAI: People in the US with Internet access are streaming more TV shows and movies than ever before.

Recent data from Ipsos MediaCT’s Motion study illustrates that in the past 30 days, 26 per cent of online Americans have streamed a full-length TV show while 14 per cent have streamed a full-length movie.

This is more than two times the levels measured in September, 2008. Not surprisingly, young adults of 18 to 24 years have been the most ardent supporters of this medium. In the past 30 days, 30 per cent have streamed a full-length movie and 51 per cent have streamed a full-length TV show, which represent dramatic increases over last year.

The rapid rise in longer form video streaming can be attributed to the swift growth of many digital video websites since last year. Hulu, in particular, has experienced heightened exposure and visitation, and has helped pioneer the transition to ad-supported free streaming of TV shows and movies.

Now that the ad-supported content model is taking off, content providers will be challenged to monetise their content through alternative fee-based methods given the acceptance of the ad-supported or “free” model. In addition, content providers will need to understand the appropriate level of advertising that streamers will be willing to tolerate for their content.

Ipsos MediaCT senior research manager Brian Pickens says, “The digital video revolution is no longer centered on short clips via YouTube; it is becoming an important distribution channel where any type of full-length video can be instantly accessed for immediate consumption without a fee."

This is not to say that digital video is replacing television. Currently, the average American with Internet access watches 15 hours of television per week, compared to less than two hours on their PC. Furthermore, even among digital video users, 64 per cent would rather watch hour-long dramas and half-hour comedies live on their TV than rent or purchase them, or watch them on their PC or portable device. Clearly, the TV is still preferred, especially considering the rapid growth of HDTV, now in 41 per cent of homes with Internet access.


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