Online Video Viewing Is No Threat

9:15 AM -- Predictions of the demise of traditional television viewing due to the growing appetite for online video streaming may be somewhat premature. Or may be outright wrong.

There is some apprehension among prospective TelcoTV providers about over investing in a pay-TV video platform, for fear that subscribers will bypass that expensive network for “free” online video. But recent research from Nielsen Media suggests that online video viewing is more complementary than threatening. In fact, according to Nielsen, the heaviest users of online video viewing actually watch more TV than those who do not watch online video.

"It is too early to draw any firm conclusions about behavior, but the early trends seem to indicate that online usage is complementing, not substituting for, traditional television viewing,” says Howard Shimmel, SVP Client Insights, The Nielsen Co. .

These types of threat predictions often prove to be misguided. Remember when the motion picture industry feared that the video rental business would destroy them? Who’s going to go to the movies when they can rent the same product at a fraction of the cost, they argued. History proved them wrong, and that business eventually matured into a cash cow beyond their wildest dreams. Early indications suggest that online video streaming shouldn’t be feared. Quite the contrary -- it should be mined for potential gain. — Bernardin Arnason, Managing Partner, Pivot Group , and Chairman, TelcoTV 2008

Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to TelcoTV 2008, a conference and expo that will examine the convergence of communications and entertainment, and its impact on service providers from across the globe, to be staged in Anaheim, Calif., November 11-13. For more information, or to register, click here.

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