Wednesday, September 09, 2009

"They're Here ..." -- 25% of U.S. Households Now Watch TV Online

I have written several times about the inevitable shift of "traditional" TV viewing to the Internet -- ultimately to the point where TV and the Internet will be synonymous ("Internet TV"). Essentially, search for your favorite "TV show" -- a la Google -- and view it where you want (on your flat screen, on your mobile) when you want it.

Not surprisingly, that sea change in viewing habits is happening at a rapid pace, although this shift is still early (we are in inning 2 of a 9 inning game). The Los Angeles Times reports today that 25% of US households now watch at least some "TV" online -- that is up from 20% same time last year. And, one of the biggest names helping to drive that trend, Hulu, quadrupled its usage in that same 12 month period.

Critically, this sea change also is generational -- a whole new generation of "TV viewers" are abandoning the traditional TV experience altogether and getting all the shows they want for "free" via the Internet. And, no one knows how this all will play out for the traditional business models that support the traditional TV business (although I am a believer that meaningful monetization will come from a combination of ad support, subscription services, and purchases).