Okay, the dirty secret is out. Video content over the Internet — IPTV — may cause a bigger hit to American worker productivity than Freecell and instant messaging, and that’s saying a lot! HDTV champion Mark Cuban (billionaire owner of the NBA Dallas Mavericks and chairman of HDNet) has an excellent blog called “Blog Maverick“. Mark has a lot of interesting ideas and insights, and I don’t say that just because he takes some stands that are very close to my position on the same topics.
So earlier this month, Mark asked Comscore.com to give him some figures on when people are watching online video. According to the results, half of all weekday viewing occurs between 7 AM and 5 PM. Only 12 percent occurs during the evening prime time hours, and on weekends during prime time, it’s just six percent.
Now I’ll grant that some of this daytime watching occurs at home, maybe when the kids get home from school. But that still leaves a lot of video watching going on during business hours. Okay, maybe you need to monitor a news feed or the financial markets, but does watching all those Jon Stewart “Daily Show” clips and episodes of “Lost” really boost productivity? This probably has not reached the point where most corporate networks are monitoring Internet traffic to spot and block entertainment streams, but I have no doubt that the time will come. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take a short work break and go see what’s playing on The Woodworking Channel.