TV Viewing Without the TV Set


TV or Not TV

Our son has it tougher than we did growing up. Oh sure he’s got his content wherever, whenever he wants. But we had power.   We had juice!  We had the first color TV in the neighborhood.  The best looking gals wanted to be seen with us. The meanest dudes on campus protected us.

Our son?   All he’s got is a notebook…smartphone…iPod…3-4 4GB Store ‘n Gos…250GB USB HD… broadband iNet connection…Wii…PS3…DSLR camera… No HDTV set in his room…Gawd forbid!  He wants something intelligent…he wants his notebook connected so he can watch “select” HD shows.   He wants all of the special, unique, oblique, even high def video that is available on the net.

Today, content is content.

Figure 1 – Blurring Lines – Over the air, under the ground, through the pipe, no matter where it comes from content is still content.  Increasingly it is all highdef so the viewing surface becomes of little importance.  That has cable/satellite folks a little worried because the Internet makes the content available…anytime.  Source – Coughlin Assoc

If something is on the Tube when we’re home…we watch it.  If the time isn’t right…we miss it.  Big deal! Sure we could ask the kid to program the DVR but we’re not stooping to that level.   Fortunately, there’s no need.

Always There
Most of the TV content you want to watch is already available on the Web…just find it, watch it.

Figure 2 – Viewing Habits – People first started viewing the amateurish video efforts of folks and then began to discover there was also serious and high quality content on the Web.  Tellywood saw that people were viewing a different screen and they knew it was important to be there as well.  Demand and diversity continue to grow.  Source – Pew Internet

That simple! You know the good ol stuff – Hogan’s Heroes, Have Gun, Wonder Woman, Dr. Who, Jerico, Wonder Woman…  The wife even found that her HGTV episodes are on the Web.  Hey…we may cancel our cable service.

Cool !!!

For the industry, there’s good news/bad news about TV over the Internet.   All of the Tellywood players are putting their content out there.  They just can’t figure out how to make a buck…

They face the same problem The Office’s Kevin did when he said, “That’s the thing I bought myself. I’m really psyched to use it. Maybe I should’ve taken the iPod. Oh, shoot!”  The old ad formula doesn’t work on the Internet.  On TV you have gross rating points for shows. On the Web you’ve got specific viewers.

True they don’t know if you’re a dog but it takes a lot of opt-ins to make up the $4.5 billion networks and shows rake in from ads.

Who Knew – The audience measurements of the past (which helped shows, stations and networks set ad rates) are turned upside down when it comes to viewing on the computer.  They still don’t know you’re a dog but they have a much better certainty that there really is someone/something in front of the screen.  Interestingly people tend to be more receptive to ads on the Web.  Source — NYTimes

Don’t get us wrong.  TV is still hot:

  • 102.5 mln LCD TVs will be sold in 2008
  • 105 mln satellite, cable and IPTV subscriptions worldwide
  • 13.7% of Americans have HDTVs
  • 144 bln digital TVs will be sold by 2011
  • 720k HDTVs sold in France in 2 months preceding Rugby World Cup
  • 84% of UK homes have digital television
  • 85% of HDTV owners are happy with picture quality
  • China to exported 38.6 mln televisions in 2007, sold 38.3 mln for their domestic market
  • Flat panel TV spending exceeded $100 bln in 2007

Olympic Power
The Olympics stimulated the purchase of a lot of HDTV sets.  But the dual-pipe approach of adding net delivery pulled in millions of viewers around the globe.

With IPTV:

  • video services will generate $26.3 bln by 2011
  • China will lead the world in IPTV by 2011
  • In the US, top states with IPTV interest: Hawaii, New Jersey, North Dakota

Delivering the Olympics over the Internet only reinforced its place for information and entertainment. Millions of people watched everything, anything, anytime.  They weren’t forced to watch the events when the network, station, advertiser dictated. People found there was a whole world of video on the Web – past and present, personal and professional content.

Figure 3 – New Options, Habits – Thousands of new, different, better videos and movies are being posted for people to view and study every day.  While some of the content is for entertainment individuals and organizations are increasingly posting content that is interesting and informative to niche markets.  Source – Pew Internet

Once you find you have a real choice, it’s impossible to go back! The walled broadcast/cable garden is disappearing. One network executive who got the message repeated The Office’s Jim Halpert’s comments…“I want to clamp Michael’s *face* in a George Foreman grill.”

The Conference Board has found that nearly 20% of U.S. Internet households watch TV online.  By 2011 it is estimated that there will be 200 million broadband users and 183 million (91%) will watch online videos of all kinds and that’s big bucks!

Figure 4 – Movies Online – While download movies won’t replace theaters or take home discs for years (if ever), the interest has not gone unnoticed by Hollywood and Independent producers.  It is a waiting game for Hollywood.  But for Indies it is a fantastic opportunity to get exposure, interest and perhaps even decent sales for their cinematic endeavors.  Source — eMarketer

How hot is the potential market?  Everyone wants a piece of the action – Amazon, Sony, Netflix, Apple, Hulu, Microsoft – including the cable companies, networks, studios and even the new start-ups that have the “winning” content management/delivery schemes.