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Cable Technology Feature Article

June 16, 2011

Nielsen Releases New Study Stating Those Who Watch Videos Online Tend to Watch Less Television

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

Nielsen, a rating agency, has just released a new report with findings showing that Americans who watch a large amount of video online usually aren’t watching TV that often. These results represent the fact that more people are turning to watching programming on devices other than TV sets.

According to Nielsen, as of last fall, the company began to see a sharp decline in consumers watching regular TV, instead turning to online video. Findings clearly show that the migration to online video is most popular among the age group of 18-34.

A decline in ratings is causing many television networks to rethink their strategies and in order to join in on this new trend will be putting their shows online. Networks are hoping this preemptive measure will encourage people to continue to view their video online, but hopefully tune in to their favorite programs on their television as well. If not, these bigwigs network advertising revenue could be greatly affected.

A recent Yahoo article said that Nielsen gave around 2,600 people this recent survey, with many stating they watched videos online in the first three months of the year. The company then divided respondees into fifths based on how much they watch. The findings show that the fifth that watched the most video online watched for around 19 minutes each day and also watched the least amount of television, at about four hours and 32 minutes a day. The fifth that watched the least amount of online video watched the most TV at 4 hours and 50 minutes per day.

The fact that a large number of people watch videos online doesn’t necessarily mean that they will never watch TV anymore, as almost 91 percent of TV households are still paying for a TV subscription in the first quarter, Yahoo reported.

Jack Wakshlag, chief research officer at Time Warner (News - Alert) Inc.'s Turner Broadcasting System, said the decrease in TV viewing made by the heaviest watchers of online video was relatively small and "not something we view as destructive or damaging."

Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves