Advanced Television

Watching online video on TV grows

August 24, 2012

Consumers increasingly prefer to view online content of their choice, at their own time on their preferred device, according to a report from NPD DisplaySearch.

While the study found that desktop PCs and laptops are still the primary source for viewing online content, mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones are gaining ground. The study found that 18 per cent of consumers surveyed in 14 regions are accessing online content daily on their TV sets.

“Online content is mostly viewed on computers or mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones, but TVs are increasingly becoming devices of choice for consumers, particularly since an increasing numbers of sets have either built-in connectivity or can be connected to the Internet via a peripheral device such as a connected Blu-ray player or set top box, among others,” noted Riddhi Patel, NPD DisplaySearch Research Director of Consumer Insights.  “In fact, 25 per cent of consumers surveyed said they view online content on their TV several times a week.”

Movies are the most popular source of entertainment for consumers viewing Internet content on TVs. Consumers prefer to watch movies in a social setting, and since movies are available via online sites, they have become the most preferred content. Previously broadcast videos programming has also gained consumer attention. This is one of the ways that consumers can catch up on daily programming that they miss at its original time of broadcast, allowing them to view content at their convenience.

Among consumers who do not view online content via TV, 44 per cent said they have no interest in viewing that content on their TVs, and about 30 per cent indicated they simply do not own the necessary devices. Of these respondents, if given the possibility of viewing online content on their TV, only a third said they would be interested in doing so.

“Although results differ by country, the results imply that there is still a general lack of interest in viewing online content via TV. This can be attributed to usage of devices other than TVs to view online content as well as a lack of infrastructure and/or expertise to connect their existing TVs to the internet,” Patel added.

Despite this, daily usage of TVs to view online content remains under 30 per cent in most countries. In fact, online content on TV is viewed most aggressively in China—possibly due to consumer interest in viewing foreign programs that may not be available via traditional TV medium.

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