Americans Viewing More TV and Movies via Internet Streaming

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A new study from media analysis firm Ipsos MediaCT finds that Americans are watching more television and movies via Internet streaming than ever before—and the numbers have increased radically in just the last six months. But what’s perhaps more surprising is how young adults have taken to Internet-based vide entertainment: the study finds that 30 percent of adults aged 18 to 24 have watched a full length movie online in the last 30 days—and over half (51 percent) have streamed a full-length TV show in the same time period.

Overall, Ipsos MediaCT found that 26 percent of Americans have streamed on online television show in the last 30 days, and 14 percent have streamed a full-length movie. Those numbers are more than double the figures tallied for September 2008. Ipsos attributes the uptick to the growth of video streaming Web sites, in particular Hulu, which has made progress in offering free, ad-supported content.

“The digital video revolution is no longer centered on short clips via YouTube; it is becoming an important distribution channel where any type of full-length video can be instantly accessed for immediate consumption without a fee,” said Ipsos MediaCT’s senior research manager Brian Pickens, in a statement.

However, the study does not support the notion that folks are turning to Internet streaming as a replacement for television, finding that the average American watches 15 hours of television per week compared to less than two hours of video content from the Internet. The study also finds that some 64 percent of Internet video users would rather watch one-hour television programs on their TV than watch them on a PC or mobile device, rent them, or purchase them.

Ipsos MediaCT collected data for the study during April 2009 via online interviews as part of the company’s ongoing Motion study, conducted quarterly.

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