Data Indicates A Big Shift To Online TV & Video | The Writers Strike Effect In Action?

1 min read

WGAWith the writers strike still in almost full effect, people
are starting to wonder whether it’s actively affected people’s viewing

Two pieces of reliable data are now pointing very clearly to
the fact that it has, and that online video has increased its market
share since the strike started.

Traffic To Video Sites Has Doubled

Number one: According
to the BBC
Nielsen says that traffic to some online video sites has doubled since
the Hollywood writers’ strike in October turned the TV into a
of reruns and unfunny late-night talk shows (although it may be
stretching things to call the Nielsen figure a data point, since I
can’t find a report that has those numbers in it).

Number two: A report from the Pew Internet
Research project, a reliable and independent research group, indicates

almost 50 per cent of those surveyed had been to video-sharing sites
such as YouTube (up from 38 per cent last year) and daily traffic to
such sites has doubled in the past year. The number of people who said
they had been to such a site within a day of being asked almost doubled
to 15 per cent.

Data Indicates A Big Shift To Online TV & Video | The Writers Strike Effect In Action?

Two Sides To The Argument

Ever since the strike began, there has been a debate about how
of a benefit online video might get as the fresh content on television
became more and more scarce. 

Some have
that most online video is crap, and therefore the boost would likely be

Others argue that much of what is on TV is also crap, although
the production values might be slightly higher, and that the strike
might help to push some content creators to remake
the industry in Silicon Valley’s image.


I don’t know where things will end up, but I do know
one thing: I am
hearing from more and more “average” people
— i.e., not geeks — that
they are watching more video online, and that they are finding things
there they can’t on television. 

The writers’ strike
may be one of the
forces that are pushing people to do that, but it’s not the
only one.
Increasingly, the boundaries between TV and online are blurring.

Written by Mathew Ingram, a technology journalist. Catch his views on the intersection between media and the web at This post is licensed under the Creative Commons.