Internet video to overtake broadcast TV by 2020

A new report released by The Diffusion Group indicates consumers over the next 10 years will switch from broadcast TV more towards online video available on-demand for free.

In a 12-month period between 2008 and 2009, the research group discovered Internet-based video viewership jumped 84 percent, which will increase further.  However, time spent watching TV in the living room is still the same, but how consumers access the content will continue to change.

Most major TV manufacturers are currently working on new Web-enabled TVs so owners can use widgets to offer access to e-mail, apps, downloads, and other interactive features in the living room.

“The total amount of time spent watching video from all sources, including PayTV and Internet video, will hold constant during the next 10 years at around 32 hours a week,” said Colin Dixon, TDG co-author, in a note.  “With online video usage accelerating we expect the amount of Internet video watched to eclipse the amount of live broadcast TV around 2020.”

This latest report isn’t too surprising as cable providers have recently shown more concern related to Web-based content that could fracture the industry.  Around 800,000 cable and satellite subscribers canceled their service during 2009, as consumers look for new lower cost alternatives.

Furthermore, a report late last month said one in eight American TV subscribers are prepared to cancel their cable TV subscription before the end of 2010.  A combination of expensive cable bills and increased free content available online has driven this unique change away from traditional cable.

I’m not quite ready to give up on my cable subscription just yet, especially since I like to relax on the couch and watch TV, but have enjoyed the increase in online content that is now available.