Internet video to topple broadcast TV by 2020

Research from The Diffusion Group (TDG) predicts that by 2020, the consumption of Internet video will eclipse the consumption of broadcast TV programming.

According to TDG data, while the amount of time spent viewing TV has remained relatively stable, the amount of time consumers spent watching online video increased 84 per cent between 2008 and 2009. When extrapolated across the entire TV-viewing population, the average time spent viewing online video in 2009 was 52 per cent more than in 2008. TDG expects that this rate of growth will actually increase during the next 5-7 years due primarily to the increased use of the television as the platform of choice for web video viewing.

According to Colin Dixon, senior partner and co-author of TDG’s report, “The total amount of time spent watching video from all sources, including Pay TV and Internet video, will hold constant during the next 10 years at around 32 hours a week. With online video usage accelerating we expect the amount of Internet video watched to eclipse the amount of live broadcast TV around 2020.”

Though this forecast may appear shocking to some, Dixon says there is good reason to believe that this estimate is realistic. “Keep in mind that during this period, Internet and broadcast delivery of video content will become blended in such a way that consumers will be unaware of which conduit serves which content. Because so much of their audience will be consuming online, it is more important than ever that cable and broadcast channels increase their presence online.”

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