Viewers prefer free TV to ad-free (or, Survey uncovers huge market for paid TV)

Macsurfer recently carried a link to a recent study published by a TV industry publishing company which poo-poos the whole buy-video-content-for-your-iPod thing:

When asked if they missed their favourite TV show and could watch it online or order it through cable or satellite, 62% of the 800 respondents contacted by phone in November said they would prefer getting it for free with commercials. Just 17% would choose to pay US$1.99 to avoid commercials, although 21% were undecided, researchers Points North Group and Horowitz Associates revealed.

“Video downloads for US$1.99 will have limited appeal. Consumers will grow tired of having their credit cards charged US$1.99 every time they download a rerun of CSI,” said Craig Leddy, a Points North Group analyst.

In the coveted demographic of consumers aged 18 to 34, 68% chose free, ad-supported shows, against 26% who favoured paying, and only 5% were undecided.

If you read between the lines and perform a simple calculation, you’ll find that what they’re actually saying is that there are 75-85 million people in North America who are willing to pay for commercial-free downloadable and saveable TV.

Interesting! That sounds like a pretty large market to me.

The question is, who sponsored this research? And why?

Seems obvious, doesn’t it … old media dinosaurs, or hangers-on of those dinosaurs, who are seeing another comfortable niche start to get eaten away.


1 CommentLeave a comment

  • Did your 75-85 million include children? It might be a little less for 18 and up. But still, you’re right that a large market is there for paid TV.

    On a tangent, this is actually confirmed by DVD sales for full-season packages of TV shows.