Is this the big shift to online video?

by Mathew on January 10, 2008 · 11 comments

We appear to have two data points related to online video that are worth paying attention to. Number one: According to the BBC, Nielsen says that traffic to some online video sites has doubled since the Hollywood writers’ strike in October turned the TV into a wasteland of reruns and unfunny late-night talk shows (although it may be stretching things to call the Nielsen figure a data point, since I can’t find a report that has those numbers in it).

The second data point is a report from the Pew Internet Research project, a reliable and independent research group, indicates that almost 50 per cent of those surveyed had been to video-sharing sites such as YouTube (up from 38 per cent last year) and daily traffic to such sites has doubled in the past year. The number of people who said they had been to such a site within a day of being asked almost doubled to 15 per cent.

pew_data.jpg

Ever since the strike began, there has been a debate about how much of a benefit online video might get as the fresh content on television became more and more scarce. Some have argued that most online video is crap, and therefore the boost would likely be minimal. Others argue that much of what is on TV is also crap, although the production values might be slightly higher, and that the strike might help to push some content creators to remake the industry in Silicon Valley’s image.

I don’t know where things will end up, but I do know one thing: I am hearing from more and more “average” people — i.e., not geeks — that they are watching more video online, and that they are finding things there they can’t on television (and some they can). The writers’ strike may be one of the forces that are pushing people to do that, but it’s not the only one. Increasingly, the boundaries between TV and online are blurring.

  • http://www.jimkukral.com Jim Kukral

    Sit down and talk to some college students, or 20-year-olds. Ask the about the media they consume. The future is going to be fun with the new devices and bandwidths… Online video is just the start.

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    I agree, Jim. Now all we need are unlimited mobile data plans that
    are actually unlimited :-)

  • http://www.jimkukral.com Jim Kukral

    Well, I've officially done it. I'm quitting text blogging and doing only video/audio in 2008.

    http://www.jimkukral.com/announcement-making-th

  • Bob

    The question is, what happens when the strike ends. Will viewers go back to watching TV as before? Or, will a large portion of them shift much of their viewing to the internet?

    Personally, I've cut down on my TV viewing and am now spending more time on podcasts, videocasts & online video.

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    You're right, Bob — it will be interesting to see how patterns of viewing change when the strike ends. Regardless of what happens though, I think we are seeing an ongoing shift, particularly among younger viewers, and the strike is only a small part of that.

  • http://www.jimkukral.com Jim Kukral

    Sit down and talk to some college students, or 20-year-olds. Ask the about the media they consume. The future is going to be fun with the new devices and bandwidths… Online video is just the start.

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    I agree, Jim. Now all we need are unlimited mobile data plans that
    are actually unlimited :-)

  • http://www.jimkukral.com Jim Kukral

    Well, I've officially done it. I'm quitting text blogging and doing only video/audio in 2008.

    http://www.jimkukral.com/announcement-making-th

  • Bob

    The question is, what happens when the strike ends. Will viewers go back to watching TV as before? Or, will a large portion of them shift much of their viewing to the internet?

    Personally, I've cut down on my TV viewing and am now spending more time on podcasts, videocasts & online video.

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    You're right, Bob — it will be interesting to see how patterns of viewing change when the strike ends. Regardless of what happens though, I think we are seeing an ongoing shift, particularly among younger viewers, and the strike is only a small part of that.

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