What do they watch? Sixty-two percent of Web users who view TV online watch news clips, while almost half view entertainment, according to The Conference Board. The majority--53%--said they view TV online by streaming it for free, while 49% said they have downloaded shows for free.
Other recent research indicates that watching TV online is more popular than The Conference Board reports. AOL and the Associated Press recently conducted a survey showing that one in five Web users download full-length movies or TV shows. That report, based on a poll of 3,000 Web users, also found that about seven in 10 users watched news clips online.
Additionally, last year--when far fewer TV shows were available online than today--a Points North Group study concluded that 12 percent of online users watch entire programs on the Web.
This fall, the major networks amped up their efforts to distribute shows online, either on their own sites or the major portals. Most recently, earlier this week, Fox said it will stream the fourth season premiere of "The O.C." on MySpace and other Web sites.