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Online video viewing to eclipse broadcast TV by 2020

Americans will be watching more online video than broadcast TV by 2020, according to a new report by The Diffusion Group (TDG).

Online video is still in its infancy, with U.S. viewers only watching 22 minutes of Internet-delivered programming per week. However, in 10 years that will increase to more than two hours of online video per day, TDG analyst Colin Dixon told the website GigaOm.

The report, entitled “The Economics of Over-the-Top TV Delivery: How Television Networks Can Shift to Online Content Delivery,” states that one of the reasons behind such a forecast is the growing importance of devices capable of delivering Internet video straight to television sets. Noted was Google TV, which is capable of combining broadcast programming with online video. These two worlds will continue to merge.

“Consumers won’t be thinking ‘I’m watching online video;’ they’ll be thinking, ‘I’m watching TV’,” Dixon said.

Broadcasters can monetize this trend by embracing online video delivery, Dixon said, and by experimenting with online subscription models. Consumers are increasingly open to pay for subscriptions. Niche content owners are the first ones that are going to benefit from this trend, but bigger broadcasters are going to come around eventually, Dixon said.