Two interesting findings out of the UK today. First, Claude London of the BBC noted at the Streaming Media Europe conference that a noticeable portion of BBC viewers are using the online version of a show as a preview to watching content on their televisions:
“We’re finding that those who watch the streams will often convert to buying content,” said London, noting that this is especially true as TV series are put out on DVD, but is also true for ongoing series where a viewer wants to catch up on what they’ve missed – or to decide if they want to watch the series at all.
Second, a firm called uSwitch discovered in a recent survey that one million UK consumers have “exceeded or come close to exceeding their broadband usage limit.” While uSwitch acknowledged that overall usage levels are still relatively low, it appears that streaming media from applications like the BBC’s iPlayer are having an effect.
What’s the bottom line? Content owners can still make money by distributing select video for free online, and yet if bandwidth caps don’t keep up with consumer use, that revenue stream (and its significant potential for growth), will disappear.