A recent report issued by The Convergence Consulting Group shows that there is a small, but growing trend towards abandoning the traditional methods of watching television programming via cable boxes, in favor of watching the same content online.
With services like Hulu and Netflix streaming (not to mention plenty of other semi-legal, or even blatantly illegal ways to watch television – looking at you, BitTorrent) offering a wider variety of programming, the trend is worth noticing.
Although the number of people choosing to abandon their cable television sets is growing, it is not considered a significant threat to the cable industry, which counts over 101 million subscribers nationwide. While the trend online is increasing, the cable companies aren’t worried yet. The increase in HD channels, on-demand content and DVRs are still attracting viewers. Upcoming 3D TV channels could also add to the cable market as well. Online advertising expenditures are currently estimated to make up only about 2.5 percent of the cable industry’s advertising budget on average.
The report estimates up to 17 percent of the weekly TV watching audience go online to watch one or two full length TV shows per week. The numbers are still relatively low, but they are growing.