The fact that homes with Internet
connections (high-speed or otherwise) watch less television
is hardly earth-shattering news. Just about anyone reading
this can recognize that much just based on their own experiences.
But just how much time the Internet saps away from the television
has been the bigger question, and one that Forrester Research
has tried to answer with its recent "State
of Consumer Technology Adoption" report. According
to a Forrester survey of more than 68,000 households, high-speed
users in North America watch two fewer hours of TV each week
than homes without Internet access. Among homes that connect
through syrupy slow dial-up connections, the difference drops
to 1.5 hours.
Further, Forrester broke down consumer attitudes toward technology
as "optimists" and "pessimists." Optimists, the report explains,
include people who are more apt to use and enjoy the options
that technology affords them, including streaming media, playing
video games and visiting blogs.
After this info hit the wires, Chicken Littles flooded the
boards with the same tired "death of TV as we know it." Once
again, everything had to be lumped into a big "winner" pile
and a big "loser" pile. The reality, of course, is that there
will be multiple winners, and maybe a loser here and there.
I seriously doubt linear TV will be among the latter. It just
won't enjoy as much of the pie as it used to. Despite the
evolving ad models, TV as we know it will continue on. And
those broadband users? It's likely that they are spending
time away from the TV streaming other forms of video…and
receiving those ad impressions that keep the video world spinning
just the same.
And those two hours of TV viewing that have disappeared? Broadband
users are still watching 12 hours of TV per week, so clearly
their lives haven't changed that much. Last I checked,
analog radio is still around despite television, despite satellite
radio, and despite the Internet. It may be weaker than it
once was, but no one expects to wake up one morning and discover
that the radio waves we grew up with just vanished in the
middle of the night like the Baltimore Colts. Same goes for
But DVRs and video-on-demand, whether through a cable operator
or the Internet, will certainly alter, but not completely
change, the way we watch television, and this is hastening
targeted and interactive advertising. There is a wave of change
coming, but it's becoming more and more likely that the television
world will be ready to face it when it arrives.
basic: Comcast's Trojan horse for VOD?
Putting video-on-demand (VOD) in
every customer household appears to be a big driver behind
Cable's "enhanced basic" strategy.
For an additional fee, enhanced basic customers will receive
a low-end digital box capable of supporting video-on-demand
and an interactive program guide (IPG). Comcast has not yet