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Rumors Hint At Microsoft Online TV Service

Rumors Hint At Microsoft Online TV Service

By Doug Caverly November 29, 2010 | 2 Comments

Google TV, Hulu Plus, and Netflix may have a serious new competitor in the making.  Rumor has it that Microsoft is developing an online TV service of its own, and that Microsoft intends to use the Xbox to ensure the service is available to a very large audience.

More People Watching TV Online
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The number of U.S. households watching TV online has increased 20 percent from last year, according to a new report by The Conference Board and TNS.

Nearly 80 percent of consumers go online daily for entertainment. Entertainment was cited as one of the most important Internet activities, behind only personal communication and work related activities.

DVR Users Fans Of Online Television
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DVR users are the highest viewers of online primetime television content, according to a new study by Integrated Media Measurement Inc. (IMMI).

Among the people who watched primetime programming both online and on a DVR, 35 percent watched four or more episodes online, compared with 15 percent for people who watched primetime programming both online and on live television.

CBS Introduces Social Viewing Rooms
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CBS Interactive is introducing a new online feature that allows TV viewers to watch CBS shows with their friends and interact with one another while they do so.

The new feature is called Social Viewing Rooms and is available for primetime, daytime, and CBS Classics. Social Viewing Rooms allows TV fans to chat, make comments, and or animate customized virtual objects on the screen.

Online TV Viewership Doubles
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Online TV viewing has been increasing in popularity. About one- fifth of American households who use the Internet watch television online, double the number from 2006, The Conference Board and TNS said today.

Being able to watch content on their own time and their own convenience are the main reasons people go online. Other reasons include skipping commercials and portability. About 72 percent of households log on for entertainment purposes daily, and in one in ten cities entertainment is the most popular Internet activity.

Online Viewing Becoming A TV Substitute
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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.

TV Web Sites Attracting Online Viewers
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Even with the growing popularity of watching television content online, the majority (94%) of adults still prefer to watch television on traditional TV sets, according to research from Nielsen for the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM).

Online TV Ads Engage Consumers

Consumers are 44 percent more engaged in advertisements featured in television programs they watch online than they are with the ads they see on a TV set according to Simmons, an Experian company.

Simmons The study identifies engagement according to six factors that respondents associates with media. They are "inspirational," "trustworthy," "life enhancing," "social interaction," "personal timeout," and ad receptivity.

Hulu Starts Video Hullabaloo

The anti-YouTube video site supported by News Corp and NBC Universal clicked its private beta with online TV programs featuring “Heroes” and “The Simpsons” in Hulu’s lineup.