Our son has it tougher than we did growing up. Oh sure he’s got his content wherever, whenever he wants. But we had power. We had juice!

Content Insider #112 – The Entertainment Choice TV Viewing Without The TV Set

THE Insider

December 2008

Content Insider #112 – The Entertainment Choice
TV Viewing Without The TV Set

Author: THE Insider

Our son has it tougher than we did growing up. Oh sure he’s got his content wherever, whenever he wants. But we had power. We had juice!


We had the first color TV in the neighborhood.

The best looking gals wanted to be seen with us.

The meanest dudes on campus protected us.

Our son?

All he’s got is a notebook…smartphone…iPod…3-4 4GB Store ‘n Gos…250GB USB HD… broadband iNet connection…Wii…PS3…DSLR camera…

No HDTV set in his room…Gawd forbid!

He wants something intelligent…he wants his notebook connected so he can watch “select” HD shows.

He wants all of the special, unique, oblique, even high def video that is available on the net.

Today, content is content.


Figure 1 - Blurring Lines – Over the air, under the ground, through the pipe, no matter where it comes from content is still content. Increasingly it is all highdef so the viewing surface becomes of little importance. That has cable/satellite folks a little worried because the Internet makes the content available…anytime. Source – Coughlin Assoc

If something is on the Tube when we’re home…we watch it.

If the time isn’t right…we miss it. Big deal!

Sure we could ask the kid to program the DVR but we’re not stooping to that level.

Fortunately, there’s no need.

Always There


Most of the TV content you want to watch is already available on the Web…just find it, watch it.


Figure 2 - Viewing Habits – People first started viewing the amateurish video efforts of folks and then began to discover there was also serious and high quality content on the Web. Tellywood saw that people were viewing a different screen and they knew it was important to be there as well. Demand and diversity continue to grow. Source – Pew Internet

That simple!

You know the good ol stuff – Hogan’s Heroes, Have Gun, Wonder Woman, Dr. Who, Jerico, Wonder Woman…


The wife even found that her HGTV episodes are on the Web.

Hey…we may cancel our cable service.

Cool !!!

For the industry, there’s good news/bad news about TV over the Internet.

All of the Tellywood players are putting their content out there.

They just can’t figure out how to make a buck…

They face the same problem The Office’s Kevin did when he said, “That's the thing I bought myself. I'm really psyched to use it. Maybe I should've taken the iPod. Oh, shoot!”

The old ad formula doesn’t work on the Internet.


On TV you have gross rating points for shows.

On the Web you’ve got specific viewers.

True they don’t know if you’re a dog but it takes a lot of opt-ins to make up the $4.5 billion networks and shows rake in from ads.


Who Knew – The audience measurements of the past (which helped shows, stations and networks set ad rates) are turned upside down when it comes to viewing on the computer. They still don’t know you’re a dog but they have a much better certainty that there really is someone/something in front of the screen. Interestingly people tend to be more receptive to ads on the Web. Source -- NYTimes

Don’t get us wrong. TV is still hot:


102.5 mln LCD TVs will be sold in 2008

105 mln satellite, cable and IPTV subscriptions worldwide

13.7% of Americans have HDTVs

144 bln digital TVs will be sold by 2011

720k HDTVs sold in France in 2 months preceding Rugby World Cup

84% of UK homes have digital television

85% of HDTV owners are happy with picture quality

China to exported 38.6 mln televisions in 2007, sold 38.3 mln for their domestic market

Flat panel TV spending exceeded $100 bln in 2007


Olympic Power


The Olympics stimulated the purchase of a lot of HDTV sets.

But the dual-pipe approach of adding net delivery pulled in millions of viewers around the globe.

With IPTV:


video services will generate $26.3 bln by 2011

China will lead the world in IPTV by 2011

In the US, top states with IPTV interest: Hawaii, New Jersey, North Dakota

Delivering the Olympics over the Internet only reinforced its place for information and entertainment.

Millions of people watched everything, anything, anytime. They weren’t forced to watch the events when the network, station, advertiser dictated.

People found there was a whole world of video on the Web – past and present, personal and professional content.


Figure 3 - New Options, Habits – Thousands of new, different, better videos and movies are being posted for people to view and study every day. While some of the content is for entertainment individuals and organizations are increasingly posting content that is interesting and informative to niche markets. Source – Pew Internet

Once you find you have a real choice, it’s impossible to go back!

The walled broadcast/cable garden is disappearing.

One network executive who got the message repeated The Office’s Jim Halpert’s comments…“I want to clamp Michael's *face* in a George Foreman grill.”

The Conference Board has found that nearly 20% of U.S. Internet households watch TV online. By 2011 it is estimated that there will be 200 million broadband users and 183 million (91%) will watch online videos of all kinds and that’s big bucks!


Figure 4 - Movies Online – While download movies won’t replace theaters or take home discs for years (if ever), the interest has not gone unnoticed by Hollywood and Independent producers. It is a waiting game for Hollywood. But for Indies it is a fantastic opportunity to get exposure, interest and perhaps even decent sales for their cinematic endeavors. Source -- eMarketer

How hot is the potential market?

Everyone wants a piece of the action – Amazon, Sony, Netflix, Apple, Hulu, Microsoft – including the cable companies, networks, studios and even the new start-ups that have the “winning” content management/delivery schemes.

More Stuff


What they don’t have is “inventory!”

Tellywood is digging in the very back of the closet for content to offer up for consumption.

The old powerhouse series are back – StarTrek, MacGyver, The A-Team, I Dream of Jeanie, Dean Martin Show, anything, everything.

It’s all good.

Still it isn’t enough.

Bypassing the walled garden guards, independent producers are realizing they can get music video and movie audience exposure without worshiping at the hallowed Tellywood doors.

Creative hopefuls who weren’t tapped at the Tribeca, Toronto, Sundance, Vancouver, Minneapolis, Paris, London and other film festivals around the globe aren’t going home in defeat.

There are VOD, content management/distribution, IPTV (62 M subscribers WW by 2012 – eMarketer) and other video service providers eager to increase their inventory offerings and share in the proceeds – paid viewing or advertising supported.

People are turning on their computers and using the Internet for their video entertainment according to an IBM study because of:


better content selection – 46%

updated, fresher content – 25%

trustworthiness – 24%

faster downloading, streaming – 23%

friends go there – 21%

hipper, current environment – 12%

People across the age spectrum have found that their computer is more entertaining than their TV.


Figure 5 - Across the Board – Because millenials and Gen Xers grew up on computers and the Internet, you would expect them to be the individuals most likely to chuck their TV sets for online video entertainment. Interestingly though boomers and matures are just as interested in doing away with the rigid program schedule for anytime, anywhere viewing entertainment. Source – Deloitte Development, Harrison Group

We would expect online entertainment viewing to be dominated by kids but surprisingly Gen-Xers, Boomers and Matures are all turning off their regular program to enjoy online content.


Figure 6 - No Sex, Age Discrimination – Men, women, young, old they are all finding choice (and steadily improving quality) is a powerful draw to the Internet for their entertainment. Interestingly the new-found video freedom of choice has also helped stimulate media center computers in the living/family room. The rush isn’t overwhelming but it is occurring. Source – Pew Internet

Online entertainment is becoming so inviting, interesting and entertaining; more folks are undertaking the challenge of connecting their PC to their big screen TV (we paid to have it done).

Some Pixelization


We watched some of our shows on our laptop system and then on our big screen TV. Because of over pixelization, some things just look better on the big screen.


Ooppss – One of the problems facing Tellywood is that their content doesn’t always show well over the Web. Downloads to the computer can sometimes suffer from increased pixelization (as you see on the left) when the producers/directors really wanted you to enjoy the image on the right. Source -- NW


Right now there’s more smoke than flames surrounding IPTV and content over the Internet but everyone industry can feel the heat of the consumers’ enthusiasm.

There are currently about 288 million TV viewers in the U.S. and 189 million Internet users. At the same time there are 112 million TV households and 80 million Internet households.

TV households will increase to 118 million by 2012 and Internet households 20 about 100 million.

Television still has a decent lead. But online video viewing will substantially suck viewers from their conventional entertainment habits, thus lowering the ad value.

A growing number of consumers around the globe are seriously considering cutting loose their cable/satellite TV service for the Internet and IPTV.


Figure 7 - Willing to Change – Most disturbing to cable and satellite service providers is how willing people are to consider chucking those service altogether and shifting their viewing to the Web. With free content over the air and the ability to view when it is convenient for you, unplugging will be easier and easier for folks around the globe. Source – Zogby International

What’s not to prefer?


- content on your schedule instead of theirs

- advertising that seems to be better integrated and less intrusive with Internet video

- real broadband service to the home

Sure some will stick with cable/satellite that seems to have the attitude of The Office’s Michael Scott, “This is an environment of welcoming, and you should just get the hell outta here.”

Feel the move


Tellywood and the cable/satellite folks know that regardless of the content there is a viewing shift coming.

They will be a part of it.

They just can’t figure out what to do with all of the network schedulers that will be idled by the anytime viewers.

Downsizing doesn’t bother management too much. They’re used to cutting, shuffling, replacing at the blink of a viewer’s eyes.

They just aren’t certain how to turn digital pennies into huge dollars.

Effective monetization is a tricky job.


I guess the atmosphere that I've tried to create here is that I'm a friend first and a boss second, and probably an entertainer third.”Michael Scott, The Office (2005)

If you figure how to do that not just one show…one digital stream…one network…but the whole online content industry you’ll have lots of friends.


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