Online TV spells more options, not viewing

Washington D.C, Oct 22 : As per a recent study, online TV doesn’t mean more viewing time, despite more options, even for binge watchers.

The option of watching television online will not influence the amount of time a person spends viewing TV, but it does make the experience more pleasurable, according to the study from The University of Texas at Dallas.

Some media reports predict that because people now have access to watch anything they want, anytime they want, they will spend more time watching TV, said one of the study’s authors Stan Liebowitz.

For their research, Liebowitz and Dr. Alejandro Zentner examined television consumption during the switch from broadcast TV to cable TV. Because data of current trends in Internet TV viewing won’t be available for another 10 to 15 years, the authors prognosticated what’s going to happen based on what’s happened in the past.

The study found that viewing time essentially stayed the same, regardless if the variety of available TV shows increased. Liebowitz said consumers have only 24 hours in a day, so giving them more variety does not mean they’re going to spend more time watching television.

Although they’re not watching more TV, viewers are getting greater enjoyment from watching television via the Internet, according to the study.

Additional program choices imply that people will be more likely to find a television show that more closely matches their taste, said Zentner, adding because the Internet has brought about additional program choices, viewers get greater enjoyment.

Because the variety of programs doesn’t impact the amount of television consumption, the researchers determined that on-demand Internet streaming media companies should not expect to make additional revenues through increased viewing. Liebowitz said they should focus on subscription revenue, as Netflix has, rather than advertising revenue as Hulu initially did.

The results imply that people who are consuming their TV in binges do not change the total time they spend watching TV, Liebowitz said. “Instead, they’re just changing what content they’re watching.”

The study is published in the Journal of Cultural Economics. (ANI)