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Study: Younger generation leading Web TV growth

The 18- to 34-year-old set in particular is leading the way by ditching traditional TV-watching exploits for new ones, research firm finds.

More and more people are watching content online and on mobile devices.
More and more people are watching content online and on mobile devices.

Broadband users are increasingly turning to the Internet and mobile devices to watch their favorite television shows, a study released today by Horowitz Associates claims.

According to the research firm, 39 percent of all broadband users watch television on the Web or via their mobile devices, up from 34 percent of respondents who said they did so in 2009. Even more surprising, 25 percent of broadband users watch television content "daily [or] almost daily."

That figure is even higher among 18- to 34-year-olds, with 37 percent of people in that group watching television online every day or nearly every day. About 44 percent of those between the ages of 15 and 17 years old watch television on alternative devices almost every day.

Even though people are seeking shows in alternative places, overall viewership away from the TV set remains low. Horowitz Associates said that just 3 percent ofusers' total show viewership is done online or with a mobile device. The rest of their viewing is done on their TVs.

However, that figure could change drastically in the coming year. The researchers found that 7 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 are "considering canceling their TV service." If more of their favorite shows become available online, an additional 19 percent of folks in that group said that they would consider canceling their service.

But cable providers might have the trump card. Just yesterday, Comcast announced an iPad and iPhone app that allows users to browse TV listings and set their DVRs from the device. In December, it will add the ability for subscribers to watch shows from the app. Time Warner Cable unveiled an iPad prototype app earlier this year that could eventually fulfill the company's vision of letting people watch shows while away from home on Apple's tablet, and continue watching it on their television sets when they get home.

Horowitz Associates surveyed 800 adult broadband users for its study.