Online Viewing Becoming A TV Substitute

    July 30, 2008

A higher percentage of people are going online to watch primetime TV shows, according to a new report from Integrated Media Measurement Inc. (IMMI).

More than twenty percent of people view some amount of primetime television online. Within the group of online viewers, 50 percent are watching programming as it becomes available and are using the computer as replacement for the television set. 

The other 50 percent are using the Internet to watch previous programs they missed, or to re-watch clips of episodes they have already seen.

The report indicated that in a number of instances, online viewing of a particular program was higher than DVR viewing of that same program. This suggests that a fair large proportion of non-DVR owners are using their PCs to watch TV online instead of buying a DVR.

The report found that the largest group of online TV viewers are white, affluent, well-educated, working women between the ages of 25 to 44. This group of women don’t have time to watch all of their shows live so they use the Internet as a way to watch shows they have missed on TV.

"This is the first study to show there are a significant amount of people watching primetime shows online who are not watching some portion of those shows on television," said Amanda Welsh, head of research for IMMI.

"Everyone’s been talking about the Internet becoming a substitute for television; however, this is the first single-source passive data to show that the migration from one platform to another is actually occurring — and it’s happening fast."