Google's YouTube claims to have overtaken TV in viewership and marked it with a stunt this weekend by parking a Tank in RTE (Ireland's state funded broadcaster).
Eric Schmidt Chairman of Google only last week said that, "it has already happened" and that "it's not a replacement for something that we already know" and he's right. YouTube and content consumption is different from the traditional manner where broadcasters push out content at a time that suits them, not the user.
YouTube already delivers more than a billion unique monthly users, astounding stuff and one cannot help but wonder, how then are TV broadcasters claiming more and more people are watching TV when clearly they're not? Given too, the amount of time spent on Social Media, notably Facebook, and Netflix, it is bewildering that they can produce research to show they're growing. And it's just not credible. Clearly users cannot be doing both.
According to The Sunday Independent, the RTE star programme, The Late Late Toy Show, which is their most watched show, had 1.3 million viewers. A YouTube 16 second Japanese clip of a couple getting "jiggy" had 47 million views! http://www.independent.ie/business/technology/googles-eric-schmidt-television-is-already-over-29238541.html
An audience of 1.3 million viewers is small in the video download business and yet it's the number one TV show.....
Rock band Metallica video had 30 million views; Rihannas "cry" video 27 million; Even good old Ireland's Damien Rice's video was viewed 24 million times....
In fact some of RTE's online videos are viewed greater than the programme broadcasts themselves, so what is that telling you?
A Republic of Telly hidden camera prank had 1.1 million views online and probably 4 times the show's audience on Television. It was for example, more viewers than those of us who tuned in to RTE TV to watch Katie Taylor win gold! Imagine.
Because if the TV audience is growing, as global broadcasters suggest, then there's something wrong here.
The growth of YouTube, the stunning surge of Netflix (130,000 Irish subscribers?), the Irish love of Facebook (49% of the population use the site) -and we know most of these are evening activities - the explosion of Social Media like Twitter has to mean, that if viewers are viewing these, then they're watching less TV.
It simply cannot be both.