• Horowitz Study: Broadband Video Usage Jumps

    At least once a week or so I try to sort through all the research-related press releases I get to see if there was any new information of note. One report that caught my eye was from Horowitz Associates, "Broadband Content and Services 2007." I haven't read the study, but there are some pretty juicy morsels in the release about how pervasive broadband video is becoming.

    Below is a graph that summarizes some of the key data.

    Look at the top line - a whopping 61% of high speed Internet users watch or download broadband video content at least once per week, up from 46% last year. The number jumps to 86% for users who watch at least once per month. These are very impressive numbers and they speak to how significant broadband video has become and how quickly it has gotten there.

    Beyond the top line, one can see that every category of video experienced an increase in usage over the past year. Not surprisingly, news leads the way, with 36% usage, but non-professional online videos are not far behind at 30%. YouTube and the like are obviously showing ongoing appeal, even in the face of all the professional video that's come online recently.

    Further down the list, how about the fact that 16% of high speed users are now watching an entire TV episode online at least once per week, double what it was a year ago? TV networks have been aggressively promoting their hit programs online, and these efforts seem to be paying off.

    One of the conclusions stated in the press release is that "television is still the preferred platform for traditional TV content." I think that makes sense, but dig a little deeper and consider what happens when broadband-accessed programs can easily be viewed on TVs. I continue to say that viewers don't care how the programming gets into their house, as long as it's high-quality, available on their terms and priced correctly. Once broadband-delivered network programs can be viewed on TVs, everyone who has a stake in the status quo (local TV stations, cable & satellite operators, etc.) is going to be facing a very different landscape. See this post for more on that.

    Studies like this that chart the continued adoption of broadband video are well worth following. In the past year I've heard industry executives make sweeping statements like "pay TV isn't going away" or "there will always be a place for the networks." This may be true, but as this study shows, day-after-day, week-after-week, month-after-month broadband is chipping away at how all media businesses operate.

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