I Want my Internet TV
Our terrible weekend weather this month made it fairly easy for me to commit a few hours one Sunday to watching several episodes of each show on my laptop via the on-demand options the networks are offering. I have to say, it was pretty great. (I have a cable to connect my MacBook to my TV so I could have watched it on the big screen, but that was a technical challenge I wasn't ready to address. And honestly, the quality was pretty crisp on the laptop screen, so it was fine).
Since then I've learned that I'm not alone. A recent article in the New York Times referenced an October Nielsen Media Research study which found that "one in four Internet users had streamed full-length television episodes online in the last three months." It also noted that NBC.com had measured more than half a billion video streams in just over a year.
So I must ask, do you think this watching TV over the Internet thing will really catch on so much that it will outpace actual television viewings?
It certainly is more attractive for me than watching a show when it airs. (I've really learned to dislike commercial interruptions!) The DVR is good too, with the ability to skip commercials being invaluable. But there are enough times that the DVR is close to full (I can't record very many HD shows with the current hard drive capacity) or that I just forgot to program it. The shows online have commercials that you can't skip, but you know exactly how long they will last, and for some reason they seem a bit more bearable.
The implications for broadcasters and service providers are significant if this shift continues (advertising questions, capacity issues, etc.), but that discussion is for another post. At this point, for me, this is about the user being able to watch what they want, when they want. (It brings to mind an old jingle -- Have it Your Way...). In this case, because I did have it my way, the advertisers on Cashmere Mafia and Lipstick Jungle might have benefited. Because I was able to check out the shows and get caught up, they are now programmed in my DVR, so I'll be another set of valuable eyeballs.
Or will I? Since now I will inevitably skip the commercials when I actually watch the recorded shows.