What’s On Your TV Might Not Be TV

Some information I think is significant came out a couple of weeks ago and I made myself a note to share it.

English: A child watching TV.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sorry for the delay!  It has to do with yet another tipping point being reached and this one has to do with how we use the “cool fire” that’s the focal point of a room in many homes – the TV.  The folks at NPD Group put out a release that summarized the study:

According to The NPD Group,… over the past year, the number of consumers reporting that the TV is their primary screen for viewing paid and free video streamed from the Web has risen from 33 percent to 45 percent. During the same period, consumers who used a PC as the primary screen for viewing over-the-top (OTT) streamed-video content declined from 48 percent to 31 percent. This shift not only reflects a strong consumer preference for watching TV and movies on big screen TVs, but also coincides with the rapid adoption of Internet-connectible TVs.

In other words, people figured out how to shift the viewing for the desktop to the TV.  Why is this significant?  In my mind, it make Netflix a cable channel in consumers’ minds and not a streaming service.  That’s an example.  Of those viewing online video on the TV, 40 percent use their connected TVs to stream video via Netflix, 12 percent access HuluPlus, and 4 percent connect to Vudu.

Another reason it’s significant is pretty obvious – when the TV is being used to stream web content it’s not being used to watch “traditional” TV, at least not in “live” mode.  Of course, there is a ton of time-shifting going on and it’s a lot of what we think of as “TV” that’s being shifted and watched.  Still, one wonders how this affects what used to be the fundamental underpinning of the business: the ability to deliver ad impressions to marketers.

Unless you’re a live-sports addict (ahem…), cord cutting is rapidly becoming an option for a lot of people   While this might be another nail in the coffin of the traditional PC (hello tablets), I think it’s also something to which TV service providers need pay attention (which I know they are).  The TV is a screen, just like the PC, the tablet, or the mobile device.  It’s becoming just as content-provider agnostic as are those devices.

Do you watch web video on your TV?  How?  Apple TV?  XBox?  Own a web-enabled TV?  Have you cut the cord?  What’s that like?

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