IBM Study: Internet Overtakes TV Time

Time spent on the Internet is set to surpass time spent watching TV in the average American household, according to the results of an IBM survey released Wednesday.

Overall, 19% of respondents said they spend six or more hours a day on the Internet, versus 9% for TV. More telling, 60% reported that they spend one to four hours using the Internet, versus 66% who spend the time watching TV.

Of course, the time spent on the Internet includes growing consumption of online video, according to the global survey of about 2,000 respondents (including 885 Americans) conducted in April-June of this year. Globally, 67% of consumers say they watch video on the Internet, or would like to do so.

The most popular destinations for online video are YouTube (39%), TV network sites (33%), search engines (32%) and social-network sites (28%). Consumers also want to be able to access traditional entertainment offerings via mobile devices. Overall, 35% of respondents of the international survey said they already watch or would like to watch mobile video.

Here, IBM found considerable demand for "traditional" TV content that has yet to be filled. On the global front, short-form content tailored for mobile consumption took a back seat to traditional TV shows. Consumers are split on how they will pay for the content they view, with about one-third opting for free, ad-supported programming and 20% saying they would pay subscription or per-item fees.

A second, critical issue for TV viewers is disruptive technologies, such as DVR penetration, which have transformed the way people watch television. Twenty-four percent of the IBM global survey respondents said they own a DVR, and watch at least half of their TV programming in replay mode.

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