New research by the reveals that since 2006, with nearly one-fifth of Internet homes watching TV online. According to the research, associated television channel websites and YouTube are the most popular destinations for these viewers. “Being able to watch broadcasts on their own time and at their convenience are clearly reasons why we are seeing a greater number turning to the Internet. And, it is the reason why we would expect to see this trend continue,” says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. Other interesting findings from the study include:

  • Among online viewers, 43% watch news, 39% watch drama, 34% watch sitcoms, 23% watch reality shows, 16% watch sports, and 15% watch user-generated content
  • Among the online viewers, 90% watch online broadcasts at home, 15% in the office, and 6% in other locations

Some of these findings are a little surprising to me. I guess I expected higher numbers. Reading this data makes me feel that all of the predictions of traditional television’s demise at the expense of the Internet are premature. The news is good for programmers, because their websites are the most popular destinations, meaning regardless of the method of distribution, they seem to be maintaining a relationship with viewers. Will that prompt them to try to bypass their distribution partners, including DBS, cable, and telcoTV?

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4 thoughts on “20% of Internet Users Watch TV Online

  1. the real threat to video providers is not watching tv on the internet. it’s when content distributed over the internet seamlessly makes its way to the television. when consumers are able to turn on their television and use a remote to search and view video sourced from the internet and not necessarily from their cable tv company – that’s when the demise question comes into play.

  2. The introduction of more flexible and ala carte packages on the Internet is also going to eat into the viewership of traditional broadcasters – cable and satellite. And once you can get those programs on your home TV those traditional companies are going to lose big. I can’t wait. Aren’t we all tired of having to purchase channels and packages you don’t want only to get the few programs you actually watch!?

  3. I suspect the advertisers will help drive the industry toward a-la-carte as well. They will be able to focus their advertising effort and save in the long run.

  4. I for one am amongst this 20%, I have to say that without sites like or or I would be remiss. I pay for cable tv so it’s not like there not getting anything from me, but I like the mobility of these services and apparently 20% of Internet users do as well.

    These companies took too long to get on to the web with their content, others did it for them and so these broadcasters will suffer.

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