• What Impact Does Broadband Have on TV Viewing?

    Want to get your head spinning? Try making sense of the various research data that keeps spilling out about current TV consumption, and how it is being impacted by broadband video's rising popularity.

    For those who think TV is largely unaffected, consider this: Last month, Nielsen reported that the average person in the U.S. watched approximately 142 hours of TV a month, which was 5 hours more than last year. Though Nielsen also said that watching video online and watching video on a mobile phone also clocked in new records at 2 hours, 31 minutes per month and 3 hours, 37 minutes per month, respectively (though, more mobile video use than online video use? That seems odd to me...).

    These positive TV numbers echo what Multichannel News reported CBS research head David Poltrack recently shared: that even though 75% of TV viewers have now watched some video online, TV viewing in all demographics have gone up 8% since 2000. So maybe TV viewing isn't being hurt much.

    But on the flip side is evidence that, particularly among young people, TV has already been hurt by broadband and other alternatives. Just yesterday Adweek reported upcoming numbers from Deloitte showing that viewing among 14 to 25-year-olds is now down to 10.5 hours per week, while their time spent watching video on computers continues to rise. These numbers build on research from IBM released last month that among the 76% of people they surveyed, 15% said they watched "slightly less" TV and 36% watch "significantly less" TV (note this was a 6 country study). There are other reports which have showed similar trends.

    What should one conclude? My take is that broadband and other outlets are certainly having an impact among younger people, where the digital lifestyle is most pervasive. However, there are still a whole lot of people living a mainly analog lifestyle. While that provides the TV industry some short-term comfort, the long-term trends almost certainly favor less TV viewing.

    What do you think? Post a comment now.