A recent survey by the Consumer Internet Barometer found a dramatic increase in the popularity of Internet TV viewing. One out of every ten online consumers now chooses to catch news or TV highlights while surfing the web. Given the convenience of Internet broadcasts, it’s no surprise. Consumers can now have their entertainment delivered TiVo style, on demand and relatively commercial-free.
Another perk of Internet TV viewing is its universal accessibility. I can view my favorite programs at the office, in my bedroom, or an Internet café in San Paolo. It’s much easier for me find out who was eliminated from this week’s Bachelor in a 60 second clip (while I check my MySpace account at work) than it is for me to sit through 15 minutes worth of commercials to view the hour-long program in its entirety. Although many shows offered on the Web come with a commercial or two inserted before the broadcast, ads that interrupt the continuity of traditional television viewing are a thing of the past.
Although one in ten hardly constitutes a rampant phenomenon, more than two-thirds of online consumers use the Web daily for entertainment purposes, proving that the Internet is increasingly becoming a one-stop-shop for all forms of news and entertainment. Does this mean the days of traditional TVs are numbered? The Internet and iPod-like devices have led consumers to expect — even demand — their entertainment anytime, anywhere. Let’s face it: TV just doesn’t cut it when it comes to portability and live 24 hour requests for media variety.
Most online viewers maintain that they’re still watching just as much traditional television as before, but I can’t say I agree with that. I’ve found that I get more news and entertainment on my computer at work than I do on my television at home. What are your personal findings? Are you the one in ten who gets most of your entertainment from the Web, or is traditional TV still your favorite medium? Furthermore, what should we call Internet Television? I-TV? NetVision? This new phenomenon needs a name!