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Indie TV Attracts Next Generation Consumer

CT Reports tells the story how television viewers no longer need a TV screen to view programming. Some, in fact, don't even want one. According to a 'Consumer Internet Barometer' produced by The Conference Board and TNS, a pair of custom research companies, lean-forward online viewing is starting to gain ground -- at the expense of those who build their content and networks around mainstream 'couch potatoes.'

"This really is a wake-up call that the traditional means are not the only means, and we're beginning to see initial signs that people are willing to take their TV viewing to the PC or whatever downloadable or streamable model is available," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center.

Moreover, nearly two-thirds of the people surveyed like the ability to carry and watch content on portable devices while a stunningly low number -- about one-third, according to the responses from 10,000 households nationwide -- don't want to watch commercials. Researchers thought those numbers might have been reversed.

Video-on-demand can appease the personal convenience part of consumer demand, but "doesn't play into portability, and that could be an area that grows in years to come," said Franco, and it sometimes even includes commercials.

Franco advised previous-generation content delivery providers dealing with next-generation content viewers "to approach consumers through a variety of different means that put the power in the person handling the remote or the mouse."

While broadcasters are, to some extent, embracing the portability and personalization aspects of content with their Web-based replays and cable operators have long pushed as much content onto VOD as possible, there's another area that's promising to cut through the traditional video delivery. Independent TV shows, available only on the Internet, are starting to gather their own cult status.

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