According to a new study, the appetite for primetime network TV online is growing, with 20% of respondents saying they watch some primetime TV programming online.
Of those 20%, about one-half watch shows they missed or have already seen, while the other half are watching shows as they become available and "appear to be beginning to use the computer as a substitute for the television set." For example, in May, a "significant portion" of the online audience for the shows was not watching any portion of the show on TV, as well.
There is also evidence that the computer is becoming the time-shifter of choice, with online viewing in some instances higher than digital-video-recorder viewing of the same show.
And while the conventional wisdom might argue for a younger audience, 25- to 44-year-olds make up 58.4% of online viewers versus only 19.1% for 13- to 24-year-olds.
The profile of the biggest watcher of online TV, the report found, is Caucasian women 25-44 who are "busy with the personal and work life and don’t have time to be tied down to live television-viewing schedules. This group of women doesn’t necessarily have time to catch all of their shows live so they use the online episodes as a tool to fill in the shows that they missed live."
The study was conducted by Integrated Media Measurement among a sample of 3,000 teens and adults in six major markets -- New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and Denver.