Broadcasters beat video sites for viewers

Research shows 83% favor services like iPlayer, 4OD

LONDON -- Broadcasters are more likely to capitalize on online viewing than video sites like YouTube, new research from Deloitte/YouGov said Monday.

Research carried out on behalf of the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival found that 83% viewers had a greater awareness of sites such as the BBC iPlayer, Channel 4's 4OD and ITV's than of sites such as YouTube (76%) and iTunes (64%).

Of the survey of 2,123 viewers, 53% said they would not watch more television online even if they had better Internet speeds, while 29% said felt there was "little importance" to being able to view television online.

Top online viewing genres included news (34%); comedy (34%); music (30%) factual (23%) and sports (23%).

"One of the strongest advocates for online television may well be traditional television companies," said James Bates, media and telecoms partner at Deloitte.

"Online clips, distributed via their own Web sites as well as third party platforms, are likely to be used to spark interest in their shows. Online catch-up can enable viewers that missed a broadcast episode to keep up with a story line and remain interested in a series."

When it came to multitasking different forms of communication, 54% of viewers watched television at the same time as using the Internet. Some 74% of 18- to 24-year-olds multitasked, compared with only 40% of the over-55s. More than 80% of those surveyed said they picked up e-mails while watching television.

"Making high-speed broadband access widely available to consumers is no guarantee that it will be taken up. Demand and willingness to pay for services varies significantly, and there is little evidence that the mass market is prepared to pay substantially more for it."