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Where’s the Beef: TV Meets Online Video

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Before the next week hits all of us full-force, we wanted to make sure to note a trio of interesting online video reports that came out last week. Will online video help or harm traditional TV? It’s a matter of whose numbers you use.

Below the jump, charts and stats galore.

YouTube users watching less TV: Forty-two percent of online U.S. adults have watched a video at YouTube and 14 percent say they visit the site frequently, according to a new report from Harris Interactive. Frequent YouTube users said they are spending less time visiting other websites (36 percent) less time watching TV (32 percent), less time on email and other online social networking (20 percent), and, well, less time on just about everything else.

The YouTube demographic tends young and male, with 76 percent of 18- to 24-year-old males having watched a video on the site and 41 percent visiting frequently. See a breakdown below:

Notably, seventy-three percent of frequent YouTube viewers told Harris they would use the site less if it used pre-roll ads. YouTube parent Google said last week it is hoping for other revenue options.

Web adds to NBC viewership: Another day, another interpretation of the data. Of course, with an opposing conclusion. NBC employed research firm Insight Express to analyze its NBC Rewind online video player, which has delivered more than 42 million full episodes of shows to 6.9 million unique viewers since debuting in October, according to Mediaweek.

We’d previously written about a study which claimed NBC didn’t have enough streams to measure with Nielsen//NetRating, but 42 million episodes is more than small change.

Notable from the report: 78 percent of online viewers watch series they regularly watch but missed on broadcast TV, 26 percent watch episodes they already saw on TV, and 34 percent watch shows the’ve never seen before. Plus, 81 percent remember specific pre-roll ads bound to NBC’s online shows after seeing them twice.

NBC claimed its measure of an average of 35 minutes spent consuming video per user in December means “consumers are ready to watch long-form entertainment on the web.” But the data’s not broken out into number of clips per user, so we have to say this sounds like an extremely liberal interpretation.

Online video threatens traditional TV
: “A new ‘breed’ of consumers has emerged who find it difficult to align themselves with the passive model of traditional linear TV,” warned research firm Informa Telecoms & Media this week (press release reprint).

Informa forecasted legitimate online TV and video service revenue to increase tenfold between 2006 and 2012, reaching $6.3 billion by the end of that time period.

The company said that revenue will be driven by advertising more than a la carte purchase and subscription download services. North America is expected to account for 65 percent of total revenues (see breakdown below).

Adam Thomas, media research manager at Informa, warned,

“With social change occurring on such a large scale, traditional media companies are being forced to change their behaviour and business models to adapt their offering to consumer demand. The challenge for the TV industry is to monetise this massive interest in online content.”

However, bringing us full circle, Informa pointed to CBS and NBC as examples of the TV industry seeing positive returns from showing their content online.