The Rise of Online Media

There is a reason that Hulu and Sidereel, two of the most popular online media portals, are currently on the rise. As more students and families struggle to fit their old daily shows into their jam-packed schedule, live television takes a tumble.

“We used to have family nights and all watch TV together, but now that shows are accessible whenever we want, we just watch them on our own instead,” said Siri Andrews ’13.

Fitting TV into Andrews’ schedule used to be a hassle, but now with the convenience of online websites she finds she can watch on her own time. Not only do these websites conveniently fit into schedules, but they also don’t require the journey all the way down the stairs to get to the TV.

The thought of having to get up, get resituated on the couch, and then probably get up to find the remote, while trying to regain comfort sounds dreadful when it can all be right in front of you.

“The last thing I want to do is move downstairs when I could easily just watch it on my laptop,” said Andrews.

According to the Nielsen Wire Blog, about 70% of global Internet users watch videos online. This trend will continue to increase: the online video market grew 13% in 2009 driven by marketing, media events, and the viewer’s choice.

“I watch them on the computer because I’m too lazy and my computer is closest to me,” said Rebecca Bregman ’14, who watches at least four hours of TV a week.

Four hours a week may seem like a while to sit in front of your laptop, but the Nielsen Wire Blog found that most Americans view  an average of 5 hours and 47 minutes of video online per week. Indubitably, as more shows reach the Internet, Bregman agrees that she will follow in those footsteps.

The undesirable journey to the couch isn’t the only thing that’s unfortunate about watching shows on an actual television.

“I used to watch my shows on my TV like, “Gossip Girl,” but the commercials always got in the way, so my computer won,” said Bregman.

A large majority sides with Bregman and Andrews and relies on their computers for enjoyable and easy television. If the television industry wants their viewers back they better make a quick turn around.

“A lot of people would rather watch it on the computer where they can control what’s on, rather than the TV where they have to flip through the channels,” said Dan Haroun ’12.

It seems nearly impossible to keep up with the rising rates of online television. The newspaper, The Telegraph, found that The Broadcaster, a service that launches online TV service, added 40,000 customers through advertising in just three months.

The majority of those 40 grand customers were originally loyal to them, but suddenly find online media appealing instead.

The disparity between these two approaches seems to be growing smaller as fewer people choose to jump on the living room couch with a nice bowl of popcorn, and more people choose to watch on their computer wherever they want, whenever they want.