Writers’ Strike could benefit online video

MUMBAI: Burst Media, a leading provider of advertising representation, services, and technology to independent web publishers, has announced results of a survey about the ongoing writers’ strike and the near-term media implications.

The survey, completed in the third week of January 2008, asked 1,600 web users over the age of 18 years how their television viewing habits might change given a TV schedule impacted by the writers’ strike.

The majority of respondents are aware of the writers’ strike (79.1 per cent); only 12.0 per cent report not having heard about the situation. If the strike continues and reruns become a fixture of TV schedules, many say they will watch less television (44.0 per cent) or even go to the extreme and turn the television off (15.4 per cent).

Only one-quarter of respondents say they will watch the same amount or more television (28.4 per cent). A potential schedule full of reruns has a greater impact on a number of demographic segments – including women 25-44 years, of whom nearly two-thirds (65.0 per cent) say they will watch less television or worse turn the TV off (16.5 per cent).

In the absence of new programming the Internet is an entertainment alternative many will consider. In fact, two-fifths of respondents (39.6 per cent) expect to use the Internet more for entertainment purposes if their favorite TV shows are shown only in reruns.

Online video is also a tempting source of entertainment with one-quarter (25.6 per cent) of respondents saying they will probably watch more online video as the strike continues to impact programming.