81 million people in US watch broadband


An estimated 81 million people, or 63% of the 129 million people who access the Internet over broadband in the U.S., watch broadband video at home or at work, according to new research conducted by The Nielsen Company for The Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM).  This number increased from 70 million in September 2006 to 81 million in March 2007, a jump of 16% in just six months. The analysis also showed traditional home television ratings are minimally, if at all, affected by broadband video viewing over the net, because broadband viewing was found largely to be incremental new viewing rather than a substitute for traditional television viewing.

Commissioned by CTAM and conducted by Nielsen Entertainment and NielsenConnect. Findings were derived through online research based on the Nielsen//NetRatings MegaPanel and NetViews services, extensive interviews conducted in the Nielsen Entertainment digital lab, and a "fusion" of the quantitative online survey data with television viewing data from Nielsen's National People Meter sample.

"Nielsen was delighted to work with CTAM on this report, which reflects the value we can create by integrating data and analysis from across our company," said Susan Whiting, EVP/The Nielsen Company and Chairman, Nielsen Media Research. "This approach allows us to deliver new insight into our clients' customers and markets."

Key findings from the report:

* Online video (including broadband video at work and in the home) was shown to add to overall video viewing more frequently than it replaced traditional television viewing in the home, representing a net audience gain to total television viewing. 33% of those surveyed indicated that watching video over broadband Internet increased their television viewing time, vs. 13% who indicated it decreased their traditional television viewing.

* An additional 32 million lighter broadband video users report being open to more TV programs via the Internet. Further, consumers indicate that greater awareness of where to find the videos they're seeking, better navigation interfaces, and the increased availability of more high-profile television programs online could significantly drive future broadband video content use over the long-term.

* Based on respondent feedback, widespread consumer use of broadband video seems to be contingent on Internet platform video content becoming more easily accessible via home television sets. At that point, consumers say, Internet video fare could assume its place as another source for content on demand.

* ABC.com was the leader across all broadband viewer visits to television network Web sites, while Yahoo! Movies was the leader in the movies category.

SmartMedia observation: It would be interesting to see what percent of broadband viewing was forwarded humorous emails and YouTube/Google video. Seems the percentage of folks watching traditional television or being driven from traditional television is still small.