Study: TV is taking a back seat to Web

Study: TV is taking a back seat to Web

By Georg Szalai Aug 22, 2007

Personal time that
consumers spend on the Internet is rivaling their TV time, with
user-generated content and networking sites among the most
popular destinations for entertainment seekers, according to a
new survey issued Wednesday.

Additionally, people seem more open to mobile content and
are looking for more traditional entertainment offerings on
their mobile devices than previously thought.

These are among the findings of a new IBM survey of
consumer behavior that forms part of a larger study on the
future of advertising, set to be released in the fall.

In the latest sign of television’s decline as the primary
media device, 19% of respondents said they spend six hours or
more each day on personal Internet usage. That compares with 8%
who said so about the TV. One to four hours of TV usage was
reported by 66%, compared with 60% for the Web.

The number of TV viewers using digital video recorders
continues to expand, with 24% of U.S. respondents saying they
have a DVR and watch 50% or more of TV programming in replay
mode, IBM found. Of those viewers, 33% said they are watching
more TV since owning a DVR, in line with other recent studies.

Watching video content on the Web is a popular activity
these days. An average of 67% of consumers surveyed by IBM
globally said they have watched or want to watch online video.

For video content online, the most popular destinations are
user content-generated sites like YouTube, with 39% of
respondents saying that’s where they go most frequently. TV
network sites (33%), search engines (32%) and social-networking
sites (28%) are the next most-popular locations for Web video
offers, according to the IBM study.

As far as mobile video is concerned, an average of 35%
surveyed globally by IBM said they have or want to watch mobile
video. Just 7% report having a video-content subscription for
their mobile phones. Nearly a third of U.K. users said their
mobile consumption ate in their TV viewing time, according to
IBM.

Bill Battino, on of the study’s authors, said his team was
surprised that shortform content tailored to the mobile device
was less popular than they had expected. About half of users
said they prefer to access traditional video offers like TV
shows on their mobile.

Could this lead consumers to one day watch more movies in
mobile form as well? "We think that will be a natural
progression from watching TV shows currently," Battino said,
adding that the under-20 age demographic especially loves
portability of content. "They may start a film at home and then
watch it on a laptop or cell on the go," he said. "And they
like to watch in discreet time segments," meaning they might
watch a movie in several 20-minute sessions.

The lesson of the IBM survey for studios is to continue
making content available on various platforms. However, "don’t
expect consumers to spend incrementally on different devices,"
he warned. "People want to pay for content once and then move
it" to whatever device they like.

Among key digital age gadgets and services, portable music
offers are among the most popular, with 23% saying they are
using them, according to the IBM survey. Also, 11% reported
using a PC-based music service, and 18% reported an online
newspaper subscription.

The online survey was conducted between mid-April and
mid-June by the IBM Institute for Business Value and generated
885 responses in the U.S., 559 in the U.K., 378 in Japan, 338
in Germany and 263 in Australia.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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