Online video finally chipping away at broadcast TV

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A quarter of people in countries with access to high-speed broadband are streaming video to their TV, although more than 80 percent still watch broadcast television as well. But that’s slowly beginning to change: According to survey data from Ericsson, there’s been a slight decrease from 2010 to 2011 in the percentage of folks watching broadcast TV, while Internet-enabled options, such as long-form streaming sites like Netflix, short-form videos aggregators like YouTube and downloaded content are all on the rise.

The survey, which was conducted in Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK, the U.S. and South Korea, consisted of 22 qualitative and 13,000 quantitative interviews, and represented almost 400 million consumers. The conclusion is that the Internet has changed the way we watch TV, but hasn’t cut down much on demand for broadcast television. However, it’s not the demand that’s an issue, but figuring out monetization strategies for what is essentially a new and fragmented delivery platform that’s leading to high drama and various strategies that make finding content a crapshoot for consumers.

Perhaps some help on the monetization side will come from figuring out ways to make money from social engagement. The Ericsson survey found that people tend to like their television content more when they can comment on it with friends. And people are certainly watching their TV while engaging on Twitter, Facebook and other networks as the following chart shows.

So for all those thinking the Internet is killing television, it’s killing TV like it killed all other media — as in, it’s not. But much like the print media, content owners, television distributors and broadcasters will have to find ways of giving the audience content in the format they want and engaging with their audience while still making money.

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