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Over-the-Top Video Viewing Doubles in 2009

The TV 2.0 adoption process is in full motion, and announcements planned for the upcoming CES will further accelerate this phenomenon. We're moving beyond the early-adopter stage of market development, as the connection options and user interface for viewing Internet Video on new TV sets is further simplified.

Meanwhile, the U.S. broadband households that are viewing premium online content -- including movies and TV shows via the public Internet -- doubled in the last year, according to the latest market study by Parks Associates.

Currently, it's estimated that over 25 million U.S. broadband households regularly watch full-length TV shows online, while over 20 million watch movies online.

Parks reports that the growing popularity of online portals -- such as Hulu.com -- shows rapid growth in the number of viewers who use the Internet to watch long-tail and premium content. This shift highlights the opportunity for service providers to extend their current pay-TV and video-on-demand services to include online and mobile video offerings.

In fact, Parks believes that providers will have to embrace online video services, including the ability to deliver content across multiple platforms -- if they are to remain competitive and attract new subscribers.

"Consumer interest in time-shifting content through online portals has increased significantly," said Jayant Dasari, Research Analyst, Parks Associates. "Close to 40 percent of broadband households today watch full-length television shows over the Internet. Enabling access to content anytime through any broadband-enabled device will be a significant challenge for the service providers."

The next step, according to Dasari, is for content owners and distributors to come to a consensus on business models so they can monetize consumer interest in online media.

Searching and finding the best online video content is now much easier, since Clicker opened their complete guide to Internet Television to everyone -- their platform came out of beta this week. Clicker is one part directory, one part search engine, one part wiki, one part entertainment guide, and one part DVR.

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