Posted September 11, 2013 3:54 pm by with 0 comments

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girl watching video on laptopNext week is the start of the 2013-2014 Fall TV season and I can’t wait; Sleepy Hollow, Dracula, the return of Ironside, Almost Human. This year, the major networks are taking big chances on expensive fantasy, scifi and high concept shows. In the past, a slate like this would be nearly wiped clean by mid-season, but this year, the quirky shows have a chance thanks to streaming.

A new study by GFK shows that 51 percent of people in the United States watch a streaming video at least once a week. That’s up from 37 percent in 2000 and from 48 percent in 2012. Streaming has now reached the tipping point.

This is significant because genre shows typically do better when you add in online and 7-day ratings. Maybe it’s because people who like SciFi are more likely to be techie. Maybe it’s because these types of shows speak to a younger, online audience. It’s likely a combination of both and one more thing – streaming allows the viewer to watch every show in a single time slot at some point.

For example:

Monday night at 10:00, viewers will have to choose between the popular returning series Castle and two new thrillers – Hostages and The Blacklist. Your traditional DVR will pick up two of them but if you want to watch that third show, you can catch it streaming online or onDemand a day later.

Here’s more from GFK:

5% of consumers now use a tablet to watch streaming video of TV programs or movies on a weekly basis, while 4% use a smartphone. Among those who watch TV or movies on tablets or smartphones, three in five say they access such content through an app, while one third stream directly from a website; the breakdown for smartphones is roughly the same.

Clearly mobile is making the difference, but Internet connected TVs and game consoles are slowly coming online as well. Only 5 percent of households are using an Internet TV to stream TV shows or movies. Only 9 percent are using their game consoles.

Age Matters

Age makes a huge difference when you look at the numbers for streaming video. Not surprisingly, Generation Y (13 to 33) lead the pack with 62 percent watching at least weekly. Generation X (34 to 47) is 46 percent and it drops to 30 percent for Baby Boomers.

This TV season, streaming is going to be a game changer like never before. This is the first season were we not only have a variety of viewing options available but the ability to measure the audience on each device. It will be interesting to see if alternative viewing options help genre shows with a smaller audience stay alive for the full year. I hope so because I plan to be a huge fan of Sleepy Hollow and Dracula.

How often do you stream?