Wednesday, January 31, 2007

YouTube and TV

When comparing the usage of (traditional) TV and YouTube, Harris Interactive observes that one third of frequent YouTube users are watching less TV to watch videos online. On the other hand, digital video recording, combined with harddisk storage, allows end users to become more and more time-independent when it comes to broadcast programs. Personalization of electronic program guides and online video recording as well as IPTV and triple play offers will finally lead to internet and broadcast services to merge. Time dependency seems to be only relevant for events captured live and, perhaps, news.

There is still some distinction between the type of content YouTube has to offer (mostly user generated content) and the broadcast and video world. However, as Google is expanding their collaboration with music labels and broadcasting companies (involving a share of ad revenues), we may see a further decline in TV usage among younger users.

Interestingly enough, users seem to strongly vote against the idea of airing ads before the actual video. As YouTube usage is greatest among the group hardest to reach through TV advertising, the question is how to monetize video display in the long run.

On the other hand, TV channels are expanding on delivering content online that had been broadcasted previously in an attempt to reach that part of the population that is likely not to spend their free time watching TV. I am curious who will win in the long run when it comes to collaboration between online services, telecommunication providers and content producers.

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