On the Eve of CES: Connected TVs and Programmer Apps Going Strong, Alternative Viewing Rises

I’m not going to write about Netflix today. Nope. Not even the fact that Netflix users watched more than 2 billion hours of streaming video in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to an announcement yesterday from the company.

Nor of the fact that those figures equate to each subscriber watching about 30 hours per month, or an hour a day, which is 4.5 times higher than the time spent with YouTube, said Will Richmond in VideoNuze. And ten times that of Hulu.

Rather, let’s just take this latest data as further evidence that alternative viewing is alive and well and growing. What’s more, 2012 is already looking like a big year for connected TVs and the alternative viewing those devices provide. Next week’s CES show should bring a slew of new TV sets and other devices that sling content into the home. Nearly 50% of all 37-inch and larger TVs introduced in 2011  came with Internet connectivity, said Retrevo.

Meanwhile, Adobe has also said it’s powering more content and apps  for programmers on connected TVs, mobile devices and gaming consoles. About 80 million connected TVs should ship this year, up from 60 million last year, and Adobe is trying to capture that market especially for app-centric viewing.

Programmers are betting on connected TV apps, too. Showtime has developed an app  for over-the-top service Roku. Using Brightcove tools, Showtime lets viewers sample Showtime programming on Rokus now. Programmers like apps because they give them more control of the look and feel of the presentation of their shows on alternative devices.

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