Internet viewing slowly changing audiences

Internet TV has so far had very little impact on British viewing habits, according to a Deloitte report produced for the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, the annual gathering of the broadcast establishment.

The report, Loves Me, Loves Me Not, says that only 4% of the UK population consider it “very important” to be able to receive TV over the Internet. 47% still regard it as not important at all.

“Internet TV currently appeals most to the young: 25% of 18-24 year olds thought the ability to watch Internet TV was important compared to just 8% of over 55s. Deloitte expects the audience for Internet TV to increase as this audience grows up,” said Jolyon Barker, head of Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecoms practice. He adds there are a number of factors preventing internet TV from becoming mass market, competing directly with the broadcast model, amid concerns over the viability of advertising. “At the moment most viewers simply do not want most of their television to be on-demand. The majority still prefer to have their television scheduled for them. In the future Internet television will become one of the principle options from which the mass market could occasionally source its television viewing, along with direct broadcast, DVDs and PVRs.”

The comments are at odds with the statements heard regularly by Broadband TV News, that viewers want to watch their programmes at a time convenient to them. In the multichannel environment the PVR has become a key means of consuming content. As downloads and local storage take hold the DVD may have an ever-decreasing lifespan.