Wow, recent research from Price WaterHouse Cooper (Sterling, Draper…oh wait) states that people now watch more TV content on their computer than they do on their televisions. The cite that there is a 5-10% margin of error (thank you for the transparency) on the study as it was a survey done with only 560 people. Read on for all the sordid and, most likely skewed, details.

I have to say, if this does not cause a dinosaur stampede of the old guard broadcast networks to online and on-demand then I think the meteor is ready to enter the atmosphere. Sterling (as an adjective, not a surname) Price Waterhouse Cooper (heh) took it upon themselves to investigate where exactly people are watching their television shows. The result was, that they spend more time viewing it on their computers than they do on their televisions. Sure, that might be counter-intuitive to some of you, but I have been stating that this was going to happen for some time now. It’s all about the screen convergence. Of course, this might be a disaster for Google TV.

According to the study, consumers weekly view about 20 hours of digital content on a mobile, computer or mobile device. This covers everything from static print to interactive video games. However, the majority of that content is in fact TV shows, movies and other video.

Across all ages 12.4 hours a week are dedicated to digital video (TV, film, etc) while only 8.9 hours via traditional broadcast, cable and satellite. In fact, even the upper demographic (45-59) were at about 50/50 with 9 traditional hours balancing out against 8.3 online.

Mobile was the least popular and 80% of those surveyed said they’re not interested in paying to get access earlier via a mobile device. As well they shouldn’t!

How do you get movie content?

  • 30.7% Hulu (free)
  • 42.6% Netflix
  • 31.7% rent online (outside of Netflix)
  • 12.9% Video-on-demand
  • 23.3% physical rental
  • 19.8% borrow from a friend

Yes, that music I mentioned above is still playing in my head. It’s not a comment on what people are watching but rather on how sexy these numbers are. However…

Caveat Lector

Yes folks, that is indeed Latin for Reader Beware. We all know that I am skeptical and I need to balance my reading against other factors. In this case, it was a very low number of respondents, 560, that were used to get these numbers and they did cite an error margin of 5-10%. Now I could do that math myself to get a more exact number, but I’ll take their word on this one.

Now we all know how much I love online video and I would be willing to believe some of this research, but there are numerous factors that probably weren’t taken into account here. We know that comScore says average per month online viewing is 14.5 hours so it seems that the sterling Price Waterhouse Cooper might have found the heavy users more so than the casual ones for this survey. Plus, it’s only 560 people which I have to believe based on geographic location alone, the results would be skewed.