Americans increasingly watching TV online

MUMBAI: One out of every ten online consumers in the US watches television broadcasts online, according to the latest Consumer Internet Barometer. The Barometer, produced by The Conference Board and custom research company TNS covers 10,000 households across the US.

Online viewers say that personal convenience and avoiding commercials are the top reasons for watching TV broadcasts online. Only a small percentage of consumers claim that their traditional television viewing has decreased, while three out of every four online viewers report no change in their viewing habits.

Many Consumers Use the Internet for Entertainment on a Daily Basis Today, more than two-thirds of online consumers log on daily for entertainment purposes and an additional 16 per cent log on for entertainment several times a week. One in ten online consumers are watching TV broadcasts via the Internet, and about one-third of these households consist of multiple viewers.

The Conference Board Consumer Research Center director Lynn Franco says, "Although online television viewing is not a widespread phenomenon the proportion of users is likely to increase over time given consumers' penchant for entertainment."

TNS senior VP Edye Twer says, "As we have learned through our ongoing research, those content providers who communicate the value, context and capabilities of online programming will be positioned to grab the greatest share of the growing market for online entertainment.

"Additionally, 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."

News is the Most Widely Viewed TV Content Online : More than three out of five online TV viewers cite personal convenience as the major reason for watching TV broadcasts online. Another reason for viewing online is the ability to avoid commercials. Other reasons are portability and a preference for computer viewing.

Online viewers tend to watch news broadcasts more often than other types of broadcasts, with more than 62 per cent logging on for news content. Close to 50 per cent go online for entertainment viewing. Catching up on missed content, previews, sports, and watching entire episodes of shows are also among the top draws cited by more than a quarter of viewers.

Few Consumers Are Willing to Pay for Online Television Downloads: The most popular methods for viewing TV broadcasts online are streaming and free download, cited by 53 per cent and 49 per cent of viewers, respectively. Very few consumers are willing to pay per download or enroll in subscription services.

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