People starting to watch less TV as online video boom grows, suggests BBC News Website survey

There are still 24 hours in a day, and people are awake around 16 or 17 of them. Individuals may watch around 4 hours of television a day, and they may multitask, for example, by having the TV on while surfing the web for fun, profit, entertainment, enlightenment, well, you get the picture. And speaking of pictures, a new study out from the BBC has found that survey respondents say they are watching more online video and less television. This includes people who use web or cell phone video once a week or more (once a week!). 75% say they are watching more non-broadcast TV today than a year ago (not surprising as more video becomes available and broadband availability continues to increase, prices continue to drop, and a whole lot more video is seen on the web. As I have written elsewhere in this blog, most, if not all, major old media company websites now have video on them with more to come.
It's inevitable and has been since Real Audio first introduced "tin-can" sounding audio on the web years ago.

Now, for the less glamorous findings: online video viewers are still in the minority - just 9% said they did so regularly (remember, this is the BBC and I suspect that computer penetration in British homes is smaller than U.S. homes). Another 13% said they watched occasionally, and 10% more said they expected to start in the coming year. However, two-thirds of the population said they did not watch video online and could not envisage starting in the next 12 months. Online video viewers were still in the minority at the time of the study - just 9% said they did so regularly, 13% said occasionally, and another 10% said they expect to start in the next year. Now, mark my words on this one: these respondents are wrong.

Come back to this posting in late November 2007 and you will see that almost all of those who just said they will not watch video in the coming year, a whopping 67% of the respondents, goofed. I confidently predict that a year from now it will be all but impossible to go to a web site without seeing video. Flash video is amazing, and we know better quality video and better compression methods will be in place in the next 12 months. If nothing else, advertisers will have video on web site home pages. Movie trailors are going to be everywhere.

So the BBC study in great and the BBC's making it available is even greater. But the role of video on the web is going to continue to grow dramatically, especially over the next 12 months. I suspect a similar study in the U.S. would find more folks using video and on a daily basis than in Britain.


ICM interviewed a random sample of 1,008 adults aged 18+
recruited from the ICM online panel between 17 and 19 November 2006 for the BBC.

They also interviewed a random sample of 1,062 people aged 16+ by telephone.
Panellists were recruited from across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.

You may use this content (better still, argue with me!), but please cite my ideas as © 2006, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein. Find any typos! Don't smite me, let me know!


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