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Are the Online Video Rise and Writers Strike Really Related?

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There’s just something not quite right about the suggestion that online video watching is growing rapidly because of the US writers’ strike.

The BBC has data from Nielsen Online and Pew Internet Project which points to an unusual jump in online video viewing in the past two months.

The on-going writers’ strike has meant that many popular programs are currently off-air in the US and, according to Nielsen Online, this has seen Americans turn in large numbers to online alternatives.

Its figures show that YouTube’s audience was up 18% in the two months after the strike started, and newer video-sharing sites such as Crackle have also experienced unprecedented growth.

I just don’t get it. The writers’ strike means that we’ve lost a lot of quality TV shows, so why would we fill the void with the kind of junk that gets posted to the web? Don’t get me wrong, I love watching online video content, but not as a replacement to quality TV programming.

There are plenty of other reasons why web watching has increased–maybe it’s all of the presidential election coverage that’s online. Until I see numbers that show a direct correlation between increased online video viewing during prime time hours–7 pm to 10 pm–I’ll be unconvinced of the connection.

What do you think?

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Are the Online Video Rise and Writers Strike Really Related?
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