One-third of American TV watching will be video-on-demand by 2012

girl with remoteSometimes it’s just easier to sit in your favorite chair or stretch out on the sofa and watch a TV show or movie “on demand.” No muss, no fuss.

A just-released report by Pike & Fischer notes that Americans are warming up to the idea of watching movies and TV shows on a whim. Video-on-demand, the report notes, will occupy well over a third of Americans’ TV-viewing time by 2012.

The Maryland-based market research firm says that a majority of U.S. households will watch some form of on-demand content from cable, satellite, or fiber-optic providers. It expects that the amount of time viewing video-on-demand will rise from 8.5 percent at the end of 2007 to about 38 percent by 2012, while the average monthly TV viewing per household will remain stable.

Ars Technica notes that a report published in August by The Diffusion Group appears to support Pike & Fischer’s information. The Diffusion Group noted that non-traditional rental services such as video-on-demand were growing in popularity, while download services such as iTunes, Unbox, and Xbox Live Video have made only “negligible impact” on rental behavior thus far.

Pike & Fischer says that as viewers’ preferences change over the next few years, so will advertisers, who’ve been banking on people watching shows on specific days and times. Time-shifted TV viewing is a major concern of advertisers, but Scott Sleek, author of the Pike & Fischer report, says that should be the case. “Video on demand will enable more targeted advertising based on user profiles and viewer habits, the same way sites like operate today. That will make television an appealing marketing platform for advertisers.”

nielsenThis shift of viewer habits from scheduled TV to video-on-demand, streaming, and recording shows on digital video recorders (DVRs) to watch later is being noted by Nielsen Media Research. Nielsen said Wednesday that it will triple the size of its TV ratings sample by 2011 to provide a more accurate measurement as audience fragmentation continues to increase. Nielsen is acknowledging that people watch TV in different ways.

Photo Credits: Comcast and Nielsen Media Research.

last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Leave a Reply