Internet TV Audience to Hit Critical Mass in ’08

February 29, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Media & Entertainment | Television

Nearly 80% of US internet users will watch online video at least once a month in 2008 – that is, 52.5% of all Americans, or 154 million people – a great indicator that online video has reached mainstream audiences, according to projections from eMarketer.

That proportion of ’08 online video viewers is 12.1% more than ’07 levels but represents slowing growth:

emarketer-us-online-video-viewers-2006-2012.jpg

By 2012, there will be an estimated 190 million video viewers – or a mere 3.8% increase from the prior year, according to eMarketer’s report, “Online Video Content: The New TV Audience.”

That’s because the proportion of online video viewers is expected to plateau somewhat as the proportion of internet users reaches saturation levels (i.e., nearly 90% of the US population).

emarketer-us-online-video-viewers-as-percent-of-internet-population-and-total-population.jpg

The most popular online video content, watched by more than 40% of the US online video audience, are clips of five minutes or less, consisting of news, jokes, movie trailers, music videos and TV shows, eMarketer said:

emarketer-us-online-video-viewers-types-of-content-watched-2007.jpg

With nearly four out of five US Internet users watching online video at least once a month, the potential internet TV audience is both large and ready for more content, eMarketer said, citing survey findings that people prefer to watch professional programming online.

“From the video provider’s perspective, online video is not scalable, which means that the more people viewing video at a website, the more it costs that site to serve video and/or the slower the video gets served,” says David Hallerman, eMarketer senior analyst, who authored the report.

The big traditional companies are therefore in the best position to show video online and as viewers demand full-length TV shows and clips, as?firms that already produce countless hours of video content, such as movie studios, are best positioned to fill the need, according to eMarketer.

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