So, the phenomenon of people shifting some of their video consumption from TV to the Internet has a name: it's cord-cutting, suggesting, perhaps, that there is some electronic umbilical cord which connects us to the TV, and that switching to the video-on-demand world of online represents rebirth. OK, that analogy is a bit over the top, but according to data Nielsen released this week, we're not experiencing a lot of rebirths.
The data, the first from the company's "convergence panel" which measures the interplay between PC and TV video usage, estimates that only one percent of us are actually shifting to online video, with 95 percent still watching video on boring old TV, and only four percent of us taking advantage of DVR technology. The convergence panel data represents only four months worth of usage, and is therefore not comprehensive, but it's a little hard to see how this dovetails the traffic data, forgive the pun, streaming in from online video sites like YouTube and Hulu. Nielsen -- the very same Nielsen -- estimates that in April, YouTube had 5.5 billion streams and Hulu had 373 million, and that, as of March, 30.6 percent of its People Meter panel had a DVR. Clearly, there's not a lot of sophistication yet in trying to measure how our new selection of media options are being consumed.
The only real conclusion? We sure watch a lot of video.