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TV viewers turning to Internet


Watching television shows online is becoming very popular, with Internet users demanding more professionally produced content and interest in user-generated content waning.

by Helen Leggatt

A recent survey by Harris Interactive found an increase in the number of television viewers that are turning to the Internet instead of their plasmas for their visual entertainment. The survey of 2,455 U.S. adults showed that overall online viewership has risen from 74 percent last year to 81 percent this year.

YouTube remains the most popular destination for online video hunters but, increasingly, viewers are turning to television network sites. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed had watched a video on YouTube, up from 42 percent last year while 43 percent have watched video on a television network site.

The proliferation of broadband and constantly improving hardware means that watching online video is more accessible, and Internet users are beginning to watch lengthier content online. The Harris Interactive survey found that the majority would watch full-length movies and television shows online if the selection grew.

User-generated video content is taking a backseat. Just 8 percent of those surveyed had a preference for user-generated or amateur video content. With more and more TV-based content being shared online on sites such as NBC and Universal Corp'sHulu, YouTube may have a battle on their hands for viewers if less than 10 percent remain fixated on user-generated content.



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