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Studies Say Web Video Usage Overstated, P2P Users Buy More DVDs

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Two research reports have just been released that aim to dispel two commonly held media consumption assumptions: one, that online video usage is pervasive, and two, that P2P users steal all the content they consume.

First up, a $3.5 million study (we had previously reported on it here) that directly observed people’s daily media consumption habits found that people watch far more TV and far more online and mobile video than they say they do.


The study, conducted by Sequenth Partners and Ball State University and funded by Nielsen, confirmed Nielsen’s earlier finding that 99 percent of video consumption happens on a TV screen. It also looked at other types of video consumption such as displays in stores and GPS navigators.

One of the researchers attributed the differences between people’s stated behavior and their observed behavior to both how they don’t want to admit how much TV they actually watch and how they do want to associate themselves with “new and cool” video consumption via the web and mobile phones.

Another — much smaller, and corporate-sponsored — study found that P2P users buy a ton of offline content. Users of P2P software from Vuze, which commissioned the study by Frank Magid Associates, buy more movie tickets and DVDs and rent more movies that the general Internet population. The study did not look at online content purchases by P2P users, because Vuze said its users hate DRM and high digital prices, according to Ars Technica. Who knows, maybe they’re all just buying DVDs to rip and seed on BitTorrent? (Just kidding.)


5 Responses to “Studies Say Web Video Usage Overstated, P2P Users Buy More DVDs”

  1. P2P users download content that doesn’t meet their criteria for buying, but isn’t available for free / ad supported.

    It is an ideal platform for grabbing an entire season of a new drama that you may have missed, but have no interest in owning the DVD box set., ie Rescue Me or Damages. I want to watch it, but its not all available at the quality that we like (TV, DVD) in a format that allows us to watch where and when we want. Give me the ads, but give me the quality I want, or I’ll turn to a less-than-legal method of getting it.

    I’d never buy the box set of Season 1 of Mad Men, but I’d like to watch it. Media companies need to decide which revenue stream they want to protect, and keep their fingers crossed for the other products. Streaming cannibalizes potential DVD sales, and P2P allows for higher quality than a stream without having to pay.

    Just another study showing that the MSM companies need to make a choice, even if it a lesser of two evils.