Streaming Steaming

Data from Ipsos MediaCT's MOTION study illustrates that in the past 30 days, 26% of online Americans have streamed a full-length TV show and 14% have streamed a full-length movie. This is more than two times the levels measured in September 2008. Young adults 18 to 24 years of age have been the most ardent supporters of this medium, as 30% have streamed a full-length movie in the past 30 days, and 51% have streamed a full-length TV show, dramatic increases from last year.

Streaming of TV Shows and Movies (% of Online Americans, previous 30 days)

Streaming Medium

Sept. 2008

April 2009

TV Streaming

   Age ≥12



   Age 18-24



Movie Streaming

   Age ≥12



   Age 18-24



Source: Ipsos, July 2009

The report posits that now that the ad-supported content model is taking off, content providers will be challenged to monetize their content through alternative fee-based methods, given the acceptance of the ad-supported or "free" model. In addition, concludes the report, content providers will need to understand the appropriate level of advertising that streamers will be willing to tolerate for their content.

Brian Pickens, Senior Research Manager at Ipsos MediaCT, notes that "The digital video revolution is no longer centered on short clips via YouTube; it is becoming an important distribution channel where any type of full-length video can be instantly accessed for immediate consumption without a fee."

However, says the report,  digital video is not replacing the TV. Currently:

  • The average American with Internet access watches 15 hours of television per week, compared to less than two hours on their PC
  • Among digital video users, 64% would rather watch hour-long dramas and half-hour comedies live on their TV than rent or purchase them, or watch them on their PC or portable device
  • The TV is still preferred, especially considering the rapid growth of HDTV, now in 41% of homes with Internet access

Data were sourced from the April 2009 wave of Ipsos MediaCT's MOTION study, which was conducted via online interviews among a representative online population aged 12 years and older.

For additional information, please visit IPSOS here.


2 comments about "Streaming Steaming".
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  1. Chris Stinson from Non-Given, August 11, 2009 at 9:24 a.m.

    Most people don't care about the technology or format, it's the content that they want. Give them unlimited on demand channels on cable and they would opt for that, if it had what they want to watch.

  2. Robert Alexander from Alexander & Associates, August 12, 2009 at 10:45 a.m.

    Growth in streams and persons viewing streams is super highly fragmented by the number and variety of streams available. On the one hand, that drives sampling and use. On the other hand, it depresses total views per stream and makes the "free-with-ads" financial model highly if-fy. Content providers will dump previously amortized product in what could become a low economic yield channel.

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