Britons Increase Use of TV to Go Online

More than 7 million households in Britain have digital televisions, and that number will swell to include half of all U.K. households by 2005, according to Jupiter MMXI.

DTV allows television viewers to have an interactive experience. For example, sports fans can choose their own edited highlights of games. Some television programs have also developed interactive features. One-third of all votes for the current Big Brother series in Britain have been received from interactive television viewers.

DTV also allows shopping to be conducted from the television, but while Jupiter MMXI expects the penetration of DTV to outstrip home PC Internet access, the value of purchases made online through a PC will far outstrip those made on interactive TV. By 2005, £25.5 billion will be generated through advertising and commerce activities on PCs connected to the Internet, compared to £3.2 billion on interactive TV.

The main reason for the PC/DTV discrepancy will be consumers purchasing higher cost items like vacations, cars and electronics via their PCs. Lower cost impulsive purchases for items like CDs will likely prove to be big sellers through DTV. While less revenue will be generated from Internet commerce on DTV than through the PC, DTV companies have larger income from traditional advertising, subscriptions and pay-per-view programs.

But of all the interactive TV services available, email has been the surprise success story, with 20 percent of interactive TV households using it regularly. In Britain, almost one-third of BskyB’s subscribers have registered for email accounts, while Telewest reports that 20 percent of its households use email via DTV.

“As text messaging has been the surprise success story on mobile phones, the popularity of email on interactive TV has been unexpected,” said Daniel Stevenson, UK analyst at Jupiter MMXI. “As the number of DTV subscribers grows, a significant proportion of the U.K. population will experience the Internet for the first time through their TV sets. The number of people connected to the Internet will dramatically increase from the 15.2 million at-home users currently accessing the Internet from a PC.”

The danger for companies looking to succeed online is that they do not take into account the different channels through which the Internet reaches consumers.

“Companies need to realize an Internet strategy is no longer just about the Web on a PC,” Stevenson said. “Consumers will be using the Internet through a variety of channels, including the TV. The Internet customer will increasingly be looking for a trusted brand as their choice, whatever channel they choose.”


Top 10 Domains in the UK
June 2001
Top Domains in the UK Top Global Domains in the UK
Rank Domain Unique
Visitors

(000)
Reach Rank Domain Unique
Visitors

(000)
Reach
May June May June
1. 1. MSN.com 6,810 44.6 1. 1. MSN 8,017 52.5
2. 2. Yahoo.com 5,196 34.0 2. 2. Yahoo 6,288 41.2
3. 3. Microsoft.com 4,726 31.0 3. 3. Microsoft 4,757 31.2
5. 4. Freeserve.com 4,526 29.7 5. 4. Freeserve 4,526 29.7
4. 5. Passport.com 4,379 28.7 4. 5. Passport 4,379 28.7
6. 6. MSN.co.uk 4,266 28.0 6. 6. AOL 4,061 26.6
7. 7. MSN Messenger Service 3,275 21.5 8. 7. AskJeeves 3,651 23.9
8. 8. Yahoo.co.uk 3,174 20.8 7. 8. Lycos 3,623 23.7
9. 9. BBC.co.uk 2,906 19.0 9. 9. BBC 2,906 19.0
10. 10. AOL Proprietary 2,810 18.4 10. 10. Google 2,468 16.2
Source: Jupiter MMXI

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