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July 27, 2014

Survey says: online television is a fad

by Brad Trechak, posted May 23rd 2009 2:38PM
HuluResearchers think this whole "Internet as a television" concept may be slightly overblown. In a survey, only 8% of teens aged 12 to 17 say they use the Internet to watch television.

Well, duh. You know why that is? Because computer monitor screens are still relatively small ones that go on a desk while television screens tend to be much larger and better for overall television watching.

There's also the factor that most of the time programs are initially shown on television and then move to the Internet. For those who are eagerly awaiting the new episode of Dollhouse, they will likely go to Fox on Friday nights rather than Hulu.

Let's not discount that online television is a relatively new phenomenon.

I predict that eventually the Internet will be streamed directly into one's television via your cable or television provider (and I won't discount satellite at this stage) and then online television viewership will go up. Until then, we're still mostly stuck with the traditional model.

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Jason B

Online television (network offerings, Hulu, whatever) will not take off until they provide content for international users!

May 25 2009 at 12:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ac

I think the place where online TV would be most used is college. Without my DVR I've turned to the internet to catch up on everything I miss. Plus the picture online is ten times better than the crappy college cable feed provided (that episode of LOST with the blonde walking in the background: couldnt even see her past the "snow. Smallville had the sides of the screen cut off on a widescreen LCD). DVRs are going to be used by people in their late 20s and up currently and as more graduate into that age range the DVR usage will go down and web use will increase because of the simple fact that Hulu is free, Tivo isn't, and the economy sucks.

May 24 2009 at 3:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Argus

The fact that teens were so significantly above adults strongly suggests that its not a fad, and the 4-3% statistic cited is within the margin of error. The author of the article you posted should review their ability to interpret data.

May 24 2009 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JSmoove


I hate how every single time there is an article like this, the author has to make a comment about how small computer monitors are in relation to TV screens. This is 2009. It is easier than ever to connect your TV and computer together or to purchase a device that will play digital files on your TV/Record TV. So can we stop pretending like there's a difference anymore?
Personally, I like the idea of sights like Hulu and itunes, but find that in application they are lacking. Restricting access to most of the world and taking shows "off the air" whenever one of their partners gets mad or wants to change things up financially. No thanks.

May 24 2009 at 4:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
YouFaceTheTick

We ditched Sat TV (cable TV is unwatchable) for Internet only. We use Hulu and Netflix via a HTPC in the living room and bedroom. Works great and we're saving $70-80 a month.

Fad or not, we will only turn DTV back on when football season starts. In January it goes off again.

May 24 2009 at 1:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RLP

Since I've ditched cable to save money I've had my computer connected to my HDTV. I have a graphics card with DVI out, so I bought a DVI to HDMI adaptor for my TV. So with my wireless keyboard and mouse and surf the web and watch media. I have PS3, Hulu, PBS, ABC, CBS, Boxee and an antenna to get free broadcast stations in HD. I don't need cable. Youtube, Vimeo and other places have HD content. I can get Netflix and watch stuff online.

Cable companies are kicking themselves for introducing programming online because they never wanted to change the traditional method of watching TV. Of course they'll promote surveys saying it is a fad.

May 24 2009 at 12:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JW

One thing that seems to amaze me, is that I know a good few people with a flat screen hd tv, and they have a computer, but they have never thought about hooking up their computer to the tv. Most tvs have a pc video input and just think about watching YouTube and Hulu in high resolution on the 37 inch tv screen.

May 24 2009 at 12:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chrissthomas

It is kind of curious that they surveyed teenagers about this and have come up with a conclusion about the future. The truth is that they don't want to change they way they do things and don't want to admit that the times are changing. Polling teenagers doesn't proove anything because they are still dependent on their parents for most things including their television options. Most parents of teens are not savy enough or don't have enough motivation to try to figure out how to watch their favorite shows on the internet. If they knew that they could pretty much watch everything they watch now in very decent quality and get rid of a bill each month they might just do it. Teens don't watch TV on the web because they have the free (for them) and comfortable option of sitting in front of the big screen. I think if you want to see where things are going you have to poll 18-25 year olds like someone else said in the comments. Many college and first career people are spending the money to build or buy IPTV options to hook up to their big screens since it is so easy and fairly cheap when you consider that you eliminate a monthly bill in cable or satellite. Now the current teens when they go off to college will mostly watch TV this way because they won't have time to watch broadcast TV just like today's college students. If these two generations stick to it and raise their kids with that then the whole face of TV changes. I have completely canceled my sattelite to cut costs. My current two daughters watch everything through streaming websites. Even when I can afford cable again I will probably not do it but instead op to build an IPTV device to hook to my 50" DLP TV. I just hook my laptop up to it right now and it is super easy. Anyways all this to say I wouldn't give any weight to this survey and wouldn't give up on internet TV viewing. They just got to figure out the whole cost of bandwidth and streaming thing and they can start making real money off of it. In fact if you want to make some real money for the future invent the solution that reduces internet video streaming costs and patent it.

May 23 2009 at 11:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael

That was probably the worst demographic they could have chosen for online TV viewership. Teens have the least to do on weeknights, so they can easily tune into their shows on TV. They should have polled the 18-25 year olds. Everyone I know at college is too busy to watch TV and we all catch up on our shows online over the weekends.

May 23 2009 at 6:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fran

I don't know if tv on the Internet will last, but I do know that I had to use it to catch up on my favorite programs, because the cable company shut off my service. Also there are less commercials to deal with. Thanks Hulu and Internet Movie Database.

May 23 2009 at 6:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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