June 10, 2011

More Online Ads Hit TV Web Audiences

One of the perks of watching television online is doing away with the many commercials that come at you between breaks. Online users, however, will be sorry to hear that the nifty convenience is slowly diminishing.

According to the Associated Press, the growing audience of TV watchers on the net has sparked networks to show more ads online, thus giving them the opportunity to make as much revenue per viewer online as they do on the good ol’ fashioned tube. This comes at a time where many viewers are cutting the cord, quite literally, and favoring online video content over regular cable TV subscriptions.

Believers say it's the dawn of a new era of more personalized entertainment choices; skeptics say it's more about saving money in a down economy.

In 2010, approximately 1 million U.S. households cut the cord. By the end of this year, 2.07 million households are expected to have dropped cable during the past four years, according to The Convergence Consulting Group, a company that reports to the entertainment industry.

More people are turning to free Internet video sites such as YouTube and Hulu (News - Alert), or to subscription services like Netflix, which streams video instantly to computer screens and can be rigged to play on large flat-screen TVs.

It’s no wonder, then, with the move of these cord cutters that networks are looking to strike up revenue as they see where it’s growing. A recent episode of "Hawaii Five-O" carried six and a half minutes of ads online. That's less than the 16 minutes on TV but double what an hour-long show carried on CBS.com a year ago, AP reports.

Online video is a booming market and it’s growing fast. As a younger generation forsakes the cord, newer technology companies see a chance to meet and keep them on the Web.

Internet businesses are flirting with becoming programmers too.

"Girl Walks Into a Bar" is the first motion picture with big-name stars produced solely for Internet distribution — playing, for free, on YouTube (News - Alert).

Due in 2012 is "House of Cards," starring Kevin Spacey , Netflix's entry into the content-producing field. The company seems to hope that it can follow the path like premium networks such as HBO and AMC and become a destination for original shows as well as other peoples' content.

Michelle Amodio is a TMCnet contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca