TV or Internet TV?

Posted on: 01/27/09 9:36 AM | by Jonathan McKee

What is the future of TV entertainment? Traditional TV as it is now, with the help of DVR’s (you know… like TIVO)? Or online TV?

The experts can’t seem to agree on this one.

Here are the facts offered from Solutions Research Group:

  • 50% watch at least some TV online, more than double the figure from two years ago.
  • 70 percent of adults 18-34 have watched TV on the internet as compared to only 36 who said they’ve watched programs recorded on DVRs (that seems low… doesn’t it?)
  • There are 71 million broadband households, but only 28 million DVR households.

Some people look at these facts and obviously conclude that online TV has more potential. But, according to this article, “top media researchers are calling that simply hogwash.”

Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst at Leichtman Research Group in Durham, N.H., is one of those who thinks that these conclusions are ridiculous.

Leichtman disputes the data that conclusion was based on. He says his research findings are in line with Nielsen data that the average person spent 142 hours per month watching TV in third-quarter 2008 and that the average person spent six and a half hours watching programs recorded on a DVR, compared to only two and a half hours of TV online.

“And by the way, only a small percentage of online video is television [programming],” says Leichtman. He estimates that nearly half the viewing is of viewer-created videos on sites like YouTube. “You have to put this in perspective.”

Solutions research group still argues that a growing number of people find the internet more entertaining, and even more expect that every TV show will be available online.

So it sounds like TV isn’t dying. People are just trying to figure out where to watch it from.

As for young people? The articles concludes:

“For the younger generation, in particular, we’re finding that the broadband platform is being used more and more as the primary vehicle for television,”


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