TV Everywhere: We're not just ready; we're already doing it

Television has gone through some major transformations over the years: color, cable, digital and even TiVo. Now, the industry is undergoing another transformation - and consumers are more than ready.

Television has gone through some major transformations over the years: color, cable, digital and even TiVo. Now, the industry is undergoing another transformation - and consumers are more than ready.

A report released today found that consumers are already accessing television-style video content from devices other than the living room set - PCs, mobile phones and portable gaming devices, among them. And, they like the option of accessing content anywhere, that they'd be willing to pay an additional monthly fee or pay to rent premium content from the studio itself.

The survey of 1,300 people was conducted by The Diffusion Group, a research firm that will publish a whitepaper on the studio-branded rental model next month.

The survey found that nearly 25 percent would be willing to pay $10-$15 per month for a premium "TV Everywhere" service that would allow them to view premium content on their TV, PC or mobile device. About one-third said they would be willing to pay studios a direct rental fee of to watch a movie or TV show on the same devices.

As revolutionary as this sounds, there's sure to be some resistance, notably from the industries that stand to be cut out of their share of the proceeds. Consider these questions:

  • If I can rent or buy a movie directly from the studio, why do I need Blockbuster or Wal-Mart?
  • If I can just download a movie or TV show directly into the living room screen or the iPod, do I really need to buy a DVD or Blu-Ray player?
  • Why am I still paying a cable or satellite bill when I can get my shows over the Internet?
  • I wonder what the wireless carriers and broadband providers think of streaming all of that video content over their networks?

With all of that said, I have no doubt that this concept of TV Everywhere is more a question of "when" than "if." Consumers aren't just ready for it, they're already doing it. According to the survey, 41 percent of respondents said that, in the last month, they have watched video on several devices other than a computer or laptop, including mobile phones, portable video players, televisions and portable gaming players.

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