opinion

Streaming Video Still King, Report Says

Stephen Yagielowicz

Whether it involves connecting an HDMI cable from your desktop, laptop, gaming system or mobile device into your television set; using an external set-top media device; or taking advantage of the latest generation of Internet-enabled televisions, a growing number of consumers prefer to view online video using their TV as their platform of choice.

According to consumer-analytics company NPD, televisions have become the most popular way for many users to watch online streaming video, with 43 percent of survey respondents saying that their TV is their main platform for watching online videos; marking a significant increase from 2011’s 33 percent.

Regardless of the technologies used to deliver the content or the nature of the material itself, it is clear that a growing number of consumers are making the leap from viewing digital video content on computers to their phones and televisions.

The figure represents a swapping of popularity with desktop and laptop computers, which dropped from 2011’s 48 percent to 31 percent today, as consumer’s video viewing platform of choice.

The NPD report states that 10 percent of homes have televisions that are capable of connecting to the Internet, which are joined by other Internet-enabled devices that are increasing in popularity, such as Apple TVs, Blu-ray players, Sony PS3s and Microsoft Xbox 360s.

As for content, NPD notes that 40 percent of Internet-enabled television users are Netflix clients.

Other findings suggest that 47 percent of PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 video game console owners, along with 62 percent of streaming media set-top box owners and 21 percent of Blu-ray Disc player owners, use their devices to view online content including games, music and videos. Likewise for the 38 percent of respondents with computers that have direct-wired Internet connections to their televisions.

Not surprisingly, this trend is increasingly extending into the adult marketplace.

For example, Streamate’s new CamTV.com service brings live interactive sex shows to the viewer’s living room — providing one-on-one webcam action, for a fee, via adult pay-per-view, using an Internet-connected television. The program promises performers increased stardom and guaranteed earnings —accompanied by stricter regulations and technical requirements. The rules include a prohibition against the use of any illegal substances and a more robust respect for copyrights that prohibits the playing of background music, TV, and movies, and the use of copyrighted materials or devices in a sexual manner — with overseers that monitor the process for compliance.

The increased attention to maintaining standards is understandable, however, given the higher quality consumers expect from televised entertainment, as opposed to what they might find acceptable in the online realm; as well as the need to abide by existing laws that are better defined in the broadcast arena than they are for the Internet. Indeed, this tightening of terms may be the most difficult obstacle for adult content broadcasters seeking cable and satellite distribution deals.

But don’t think that just because these shows are on television that their content will be tame, since CamTV.com’s female-centric performances offer hardcore oral, vaginal and anal sex, in addition to solo-shows — although restrictions on specific sexual acts may be imposed by certain networks.

Other adult companies have made inroads into the set-top box market, with FyreTV, RampantTV, Wasteland and many more, capitalizing on the Apple TV, Roku, Boxee and FyreBoXXXfueled fantasies of porn punters everywhere.

Regardless of the technologies used to deliver the content or the nature of the material itself, it is clear that a growing number of consumers are making the leap from viewing digital video content on computers to their phones and televisions. This move provides an impetus to producers and marketers to cater to all screen sizes— big, small and center-stage in the living room.

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