A University of Sydney study has found that 53% of all Australians that were interviewed download TV shows over BitTorrent on a regular basis. The study also found that one in four people download TV shows at least twice a week.
The study was conducted by University of Sydney honours student, Adam Zuchetti. Questionnaires were made available on local TV websites. The survey received an enthusiastic response and almost 800 TV fans took part.
According to Zuchetti, people don’t want to watch TV shows when networks air them, they want to be able to do so on their own time. He says, “people want more ways to access shows.” And since there are already other ways of getting TV shows, people resort to them. “I can now get everything I want from channel BitTorrent, so the commercial networks are going to get what’s coming to them’ — that is typical of what people are saying,” Zuchetti says.
21% of the people questioned said that downloads now make up the bulk of their TV viewing and 53% of them said that they are prepared to pay for content they download. Zuchetti recommends that TV networks give customers 2 options, free downloads of shows with advertising or paid downloads without any ads.
Since these statistics were collected over the past few months, it isn’t surprising that LOST was revealed as the most downloaded show. It was followed by Veronica Mars, House, Prison Break and Dr Who.
According to Free TV Australia, the fact that so many people are downloading TV shows is not affecting network ratings. Viewing levels are on the rise and went up 0.7 this year in Australian cities.