03.24.2006 12:00 AM
Survey: 50 Percent of Respondents Would Pay for Pre-Air TV
Points North Group and Horowitz Associates Inc., two research firms based in Larchmont, N.Y., recently released new findings indicating 47 percent of 18-34 year-olds are willing to pay to see a TV show a week before it airs.

"For young early adopters, the opportunity to watch a show before it airs is about as edgy as technology gets," said Stewart Wolpin, senior consulting analyst for Points North Group. "The Web and 24-hour news have combined to vastly intensify our need and our desire to get it first and get it now. Pre-air TV plays naturally into our increasingly revved-up lifestyles," said Wolpin.

The findings, based on an independent online survey of 500 Internet users, also found that among the respondents, 34 percent said they would pay 99 cents to see a show a week before.

This could be good news for Apple, DirecTV, Fox and others who are beginning to experiment with pre-air TV. Apple offered the pilot episode of the latest "Law & Order" spin-off, "Conviction," for free on iTunes a week prior to its initial airing on March 3. And DirecTV plans to begin offering certain Fox shows 24 to 48 hours before actual airtime for $2.99 an episode.

"Pre-air TV holds promising new revenue potential for media owners and distributors," said Wolpin. "But unless they find ways to bring advertisers and affiliates along, they risk jeopardizing already eroding revenue streams."


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