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Video Killed the Television Star?

October 13th, 2010

For many of us, we can all agree that there’s nothing better than going home after a long day and curling up to watch your favorite program.  More and more however, it seems that viewers are turning to their computer screens rather than their televisions to watch the content they desire most.

In fact, a recent poll commissioned by YouTube and Next New Networks found that  “54% of respondents who reported watching Web original videos deemed them to be just as — if not more — entertaining than what they viewed on traditional television.”  What’s more, while the people polled consider online video entertaining, those surveyed considered this content as its own category and not directly comparable to what is available on television.

The survey, which was conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates from May 18 through June 4, 2010, set out to compare the interest and behavior of viewers watching web video.

Viewers commented that they are drawn to online content because “the videos as original, have boundaries, and adaptable to individual viewing schedules, according to the joint report .  Here are some interesting numbers from the study to take a look at:

  • 60% of respondents reported watching original Web video content weekly, while 58% saw Web originals as providing quality entertainment whenever they want it.
  • Over one-quarter of viewers found Web original content to be more entertaining than traditional television
  • 37% of Web original viewers simultaneously surf the Web — compared to 60% of TV viewers; 28% simultaneously talk to others — compared to 52% of TV.
  • Three-quarters of viewers said they use email, social networking sites, or conversation to tell others about their favorite Web originals.

Perhaps most interesting of the numbers above, the study clearly indicates that viewers watching original web content are more engaged than those watching broadcast television because while the typical TV viewer multitasks (i.e. watches TV while surfing the web or performing tasks around the house) — web viewers tend to be more tuned in to whatever they’re watching.

So what does this all mean?  Will all TV programs one day be a thing of our past?  Will original web videos one day provide the sole entertainment of our future?  That’s unlikely.  But this kind of research certainly makes a case for web content providers to take the much coveted ad dollars from original TV programming.  I’ll guess we’ll just have to tune in-er, log on, and see what happens next.

Posted Under: Innovation & Technology, Storytelling
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