In case there was any doubt that the future of all video entertainment is on-demand, a new report confirms the nonlinear genie is out of the bottle and it’s not going back in.
Today’s younger viewers in the 18-to-39 age group regularly watch TV on an on-demand basis, with some watching TV programming only on their computers. Within seven years, that generation probably will consume 80 percent of its TV on-demand via broadband, DVR, iPod or VOD, said Kaan Yigit, analyst with Solutions Research Group in Canada, which issued the report “Digital Life America” to its TV network and studio clients last week. The report is designed to help them understand how TV viewing behaviors are changing.
Given the newness of online video and how quickly viewers have glommed onto it, the study suggests that once you’ve been to Paris, you don’t go back to the farm. “Networks have to think about a future where everything is nonlinear, more or less, and everything is picked out to watch on any and all platforms,” Mr. Yigit said.
That mindset will affect how networks plan and finance programs and integrate advertisers into them. There will be more shows with “brought to you by” or “sponsored by” messages, Mr. Yigit said.
“The analogy would be when Napster was breaking in 1999,” Mr. Yigit said. “We are in the very early stages, and what that means is the smart ones will have to adapt or try to adapt faster to what’s happening now and will stop dismissing certain behaviors as marginal.”
Indeed, when grouped together, on-demand viewing is not marginal at all — it’s the wave of the future, he said. With the exception of perhaps 10 major TV events, such as the Super Bowl and the finale of a show like “American Idol,” the new generation of TV viewers will be watching shows on-demand, with a remote or keyboard in hand.