In a completely unsurprising set of data to come from a recent US survey, the number of people using the internet to watch TV has risen by 20%. In addition to that, the numbers indicated that the amount of time watching traditional TV has also dropped by 20%.
The reason for this shift away from traditional television viewing behaviour could be from a number of factors, however the thought is that people are choosing to watch the shows they want, when they want to watch them. Rather than having to wait for your favourite show to come on (or possibly miss something waiting for it), you can use the official websites to watch the show.
The US television networks were late coming to the party, however are now starting to understand the viewers. In the past, users turned to illegal torrents or other P2P networks to get the shows they wanted, and the networks missed out on the advertising options. By offering the shows on the website, they can be sure that they users watch the ads, and can continue to woo the advertising dollars.
The lack of advertising was one of the biggest issues with the P2P network. The television networks made nothing from these viewings, and they also skewed their statistics. The latest challenge to arise is how they are going to advertise on this content. Do they use traditional ads within the showing, or do they sandwich ads on either side of the show? The number of ads that are shown traditionally on online showings is less than television showings: will this limit the cash that comes in?
Another point that is interesting is the impact on the television networks. If people are more willing to watch the episodes online, then the networks will be less likely to be able to sell add space, which will lead to less cash for the shows, which may lower production qualities. Although these are all speculations, there are always far reaching ramifications when large groups of people change their behaviour.