With writers still striking, is the Web substituting for TV?

According to one recent study, people are spending more time on the Internet than usual during the Hollywood TV writers' strike. According to another survey, more than half of all the people on the Web have watched online videos.

The Internet is displaying more and more of the ramifications of a TV replacement, if results of a couple of major surveys published this week are a good indication.

In one of those reports, MindShare found that, due to repeat programming on TV, nearly half of respondents are spending more time than usual online during the Hollywood writers' strike.

Although this particular study didn't delve into what the dissatisfied TV viewers do when they go online, it's probably a good bet that many of them are viewing videos -- as opposed to reading text-based Web pages -- online.

Another recent study did focus on what people when they go online. Like the MindShare study, the study by Burst Media was conducted as an online survey. Burst questioned people 18 years of age or older.

According to Burst's results, 72% of respondents have viewed online content, a number that's up -- although only slightly -- over the 69.5% who gave the same answer in a similar study done by the company the year before. Those samples, however, were taken, during a time long before the Hollywood writers' strike.

In this year's survey by Burst, the majority of the respondents in each age bracket said they've watched video content online, including 58.6% of those 65 years of age and older.

Moreover, across all age segments, 58.8% viewed video on the Internet at least once a week.

But online video viewing turned out to be most frequent of all among 18-to-24-year-old men, 33.7% of whom said they watch some type of online video content at least once a day.

What types of video content is popular on the Web? Not that surprisingly, it sort of mirrors the kinds of materials that people watch on television.

Across all age groups, news clips turned out to be the number one choice, followed by music videos; comedy videos; movie trailers/advertising; TV show video/clips; entertainment news; sports/sports news; and cooking videos.

Turning back for a moment to the MindShare study, some of the other results might possibly be taken to indicate that once people start going online instead of watching TV, maybe some of them start to prefer the Web.

The MindShare survey of 1,000 adults was done between January 11 and 14 of this year, and it was a follow-up to a similar poll taken between November 9 through 12, 2007, just after the writers' strike began.

Only 24% of those surveyed in November agreed that the strike would "really impact/change their viewing habits."

In comparison, more than half of those surveyed in January agreed with that statement.

About 70% of those questioned in January said they would return to watching their favorite shows on TV after the strike ended, but another 28% predicted that they either might not -- or would definitely not --return to those TV shows.

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