The number of US broadband households watching premium online content, including movies and TV shows via the internet, doubled in the last year, according to a new study from Parks Associates. Currently over 25 million US broadband households regularly watch full-length TV shows online, while over 20 million watch movies online.
The international research firm reports that the growing popularity of online portals such as Hulu.com shows rapid growth in the number of viewers who use the internet to watch long-tail and premium content. This shift highlights the opportunity for service providers to extend their current pay-TV and VOD services to include online and mobile video features. In fact, providers will have to embrace online video services, including the ability to deliver content across multiple platforms, if they are to remain competitive and attract new subscribers.
“Consumer interest in time-shifting content through online portals has increased significantly,” said Jayant Dasari, research analyst, Parks Associates, in a statement. “Close to 40% of broadband households today watch full-length television shows over the internet. Enabling access to content anytime through any broadband-enabled device will be a significant challenge for the service providers. However, broadband video opens new revenue channels and opportunities to upgrade subscribers into higher tiers of services.”
The next step, according to Dasari, is for content owners and distributors to come to a consensus on business models so they can monetise consumer interest in online media.