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More data suggests that this is the time for Apple to make a move into the television market (with the rumored "iTV"), as well as roll out the hoped-for iMac with TV functionality (see http://macte.ch/34WZQ).
Americans spend more than 33 hours per week watching video across various screens, according to the latest "Nielsen Cross-Platform Report" (http://www.nielsen.com). But how they’re consuming content -- traditional TV and otherwise -- is changing.
Demonstrating that consumers are increasingly making Internet connectivity a priority, 75.3% pay for broadband Internet (up from 70.9% last year); 90.4% pay for cable, telephone company-provided TV or satellite. Homes with both paid TV and broadband increased 5.5% since last year.
Changes are coming, however, as consumers seek out the entertainment option that makes the most sense for them, according to the Nielsen research group. The number of homes subscribing to wired cable has decreased 4.1% in the past year at the same time that telephone company-provided and satellite TV have seen increases of 21.1% and 2.1%, respectively.
Though currently less than 5% of TV households, homes with broadband Internet and free, broadcast TV are on the rise -- growing 22.8% over last year. These households are also found to exhibit interesting video behaviors: they stream video twice as much as the general population and watch half as much TV.
Whether they’re cord-cutters or former broadcast-only homes that upgraded to Internet service, these homes represent a very small but growing group of U.S. consumers. Interestingly, roughly the same percentage of consumers in broadcast-only/broadband homes watch traditional TV, stream or use the Internet as in all cross-platform homes; the difference between these groups falls to time spent on these activities. Even broadcast-only/broadband homes spend the majority of their video time watching traditional TV: 122.6 minutes, compared to 11.2 for streaming on average each day.
Though it would doubtless be pricey, an iTV with a la carte subscription options would certainly be a massive hit. That, of course, is assuming that Apple could work out such deals with the TV studios -- and that's a big hurdle.
On the other hand, Apple, my check book is eagerly awaiting that iMac TV ...
-- Dennis Sellers