A new white paper from Parks Associates reports on the shifting trends in home entertainment. One of the most telling statistics in this document is that the average broadband user in U.S. households now watches 1.6 hours a weeek of Internet video on their television. Not on their notebook or smartphone or tablet or desktop computer: on their television!
When you consider that four out of five homes now have broadband service, that includes a whole lot of people who don’t a Netflix from a KitKat. So the fact that on average we’re watching this much Internet content on our televisions strikes me as being pretty significant. It’s a trend that I expect to continue to grow, and grow rapidly.
Parks also makes a number of recommendations, the most important of which is this one:
Services must offer a subscription or advertising-supported model.
The U.S. connected consumer does not want to get nickeled and dimed when watching television and movie content at home. We didn’t like paying for phone services by the minute or the text character, and the phone companies responded with flat rate options. There’s no reason to expect that we’d react any differently to getting our entertainment content. That’s why the “all you can eat” plans from Netflix and Hulu Plus are so much more successful than the a la carte rental (or purchase) plans offered by so many other services such as Cinemanow or Vudu. So if you’re going to get money from the consumers, get it as a subscription.
Or get it from advertisers; just don’t expect the traditional model of insert commercial interruptions to work much longer. Creative ways to effectively connect a viewing experience to a relevant brand message are needed if commercial advertising for video is to survice.
From Blu-ray players to video game consoles, from low-cost network media players to Smart TVs, more and more devices in the living room are making it easier to bring content from the Internet to the largest screen in the home. Get ready to watch those hours-viewed-per-week stats climb!