Web Traffic For DTV From Older, Poorer Households - InformationWeek

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2/19/2009
03:44 PM
K.C. Jones
K.C. Jones
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Web Traffic For DTV From Older, Poorer Households

Hitwise has done some interesting analysis of Web traffic surrounding the analog to digital television switch.

Hitwise has done some interesting analysis of Web traffic surrounding the analog to digital television switch.Although the company yielded few surprises, its findings seem to confirm the groups that are most affected by the transition.

Most of the Web traffic for the DTV switch has centered on the federal program offering coupons for converter boxes.

Most of the people looking for information on how they can get help to pay for converter boxes are older and from lower income-earning households. And most went straight to the government's converter box program Web site for information. Twenty-one percent of queries to the site included the word "coupon" in keywords.

Hitwise found that most people who visited the government coupon site (73%) last week had not been to the site during the previous month. For the four weeks ending Feb. 14, more than half of the visitors came from homes with total earnings below $60,000. Twenty-five percent of those visitors were 55 and over, Hitwise found.

Traffic to the coupon site peaked Jan. 3, before Congress extended the deadline for converting all broadcasts from analog to digital.

The peak also occurred just before the federal government announced that all new converter box coupon applicants would be put on a waiting list. Congress has since allocated more funds to pay for the program and, if the funding is dispersed quickly, waiting lists could disappear within weeks.

The federal government had planned to switch all American broadcasts to digital on Tuesday but Congress extended the deadline after it became apparent that millions of homes could be left in the dark when analog broadcasts ceased. The new deadline is in June.

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