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More People Will Soon Watch TV Online Instead of on a Box

What’s a TV, again?


This post originally appeared in Business Insider.

In a short time, more people will stream video online each day than will watch scheduled programs on traditional TV, according to a new study from Ericsson, the Swedish communications company.

As the chart below shows, the percentage of people who say they stream video from services like Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu each day has increased dramatically over the last five years, from about 30 percent in 2010 to more than 50 percent this year.

During the same period, the percentage of people who say they watch traditional TV, from providers like Comcast or DirecTV, has dropped by about 10 percent.

When the beige line surpasses the purple line, it will mean that more people are streaming each day than are watching traditional TV. 

Ericsson/Business Insider

This doesn’t mean, however, that people will spend more time streaming than watching traditional TV. 

That milestone is at least five years away, according to Anders Erlandsson, the senior advisor for Ericsson’s Consumer Lab who led this study.

“Ericsson’s media vision says that by 2020 on-demand and scheduled linear will be on the same level when it comes to hours spent watching!” Erlandsson wrote to Tech Insider in an email.

Ericsson’s report comes as there are more ways to stream video online without actually paying a cable or satellite company. An increasing number of Americans, particularly young people, are choosing to forgo expensive pay-TV subscriptions and instead get their video entertainment from online streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO Now, Showtime, and Sling TV. 

Ericsson surveyed people who have broadband internet at home between the ages of 16 and 59 in Brazil, China, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, UK, and the U.S.

See also: The Technology That Will Make Your Phone’s Internet 50 Times Faster is Arriving Much Sooner Than We Thought