In Depth

Younger Americans More Likely to Use Internet TV Than DVR, Study Says

Internet television is trumping digital video recorders as an on-demand device for the younger generation, according to the latest findings from research firm Solutions Research Group.

The study found that 70% of online Americans in the 18- to 34-year-old demographic have watched TV online at some point, compared to 36% who have viewed a show on a DVR or a TiVo. That suggests the young Web users will increasingly watch their shows on the Web rather than via traditional means.

In fact, the number of online Americans watching television shows on the Web has doubled in the last two years. Half of Internet users in the U.S. have watched a TV show on the Web, up from one-quarter in the fall of 2006.

The data comes from a study conducted in November of 1,200 Americans age 12 and older.

SRG also reported that awareness of Hulu.com is on the upswing, with 24% of online Americans now familiar with the News Corp./NBC Universal-owned site, up from 15% in the summer. The site still skews male, however: Two-thirds of its visitors are men and their average age is 33. That’s good news for advertisers, because the 18-34 male demo is hard to reach on TV.

Women are more inclined to visit a network Web site because 54% of visitors to those sites are female, with an average age of 39. Visits to network sites might be skewing female in part because ABC shows that are popular with women, such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Desperate Housewives,” are carried primarily on ABC.com, rather than distributed widely on the Web.