The Internet has revolutionised the different sectors of the society, including the media industry. One of the innovative applications of the Internet to the media industry is television streaming- a process through which television stations upload daily programmes to their online platforms thereby enabling audiences to watch television programmes at their convenience. Without access to affordable Internet Service Providers’ services, data packages and Internet literacy skills, widespread adoption of television streaming may be a daunting task. The paucity of empirical research on streaming has undermined adequate planning in this sector. This study examined the extent to which Internet penetration has promoted the adoption of television streaming among stakeholders inSouth-West Nigeria.
Survey research design was adopted for this study. The population comprised 27,722,432 residents and 22 television stations in South-West Nigeria. Three states were selected using simple random sampling technique. Stratified sampling technique was used to stratify the local governments into metropolitan and non-metropolitan. Subsequently, four local governments were selected randomly from the metropolitan local governments. Three television stations were selected randomly after being stratified into privately, state and federally owned. The chief engineers were purposively chosen for interview because of their involvement with streaming technologies. Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill formula was used to arrive at the sample size of 1,613 respondents drawn from twelve wards. Validated questionnaire which was the major instrument complimented by interview guide were adopted for data collection. Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient values of the constructs were Internet penetration (0.782), television streaming (0.830), attitude (0.811), computer literacy (0.769), perceived usefulness (0.805) and ease of use (0.728), while 0.881 was obtained for the total scale. A total of 1,613 copies of questionnaire were administered, with a response rate of 95%. The data collected were analysed using inferential statistics: multiple and simple linear regression.Interview responses obtained were analysed under themes of the discourse.
Findings indicated that Internet penetration significantly influenced adoption of television streaming(R2=0.120, p<0.05). Also, Internet penetration when moderated by attitude, significantly influencedrespondents’ adoption of television streaming(R2=0.193, p<0.05). Computer literacy skills, perceived usefulness and ease of use had individual significant influence on adoption of television streaming (R2=0.017, 0.132, 0.098 p<0.05). Respondents identified high cost of Internet data (50.9%) as a factor affecting adoption of television streaming.
The study concluded that Internet penetration influenced the adoption of television streaming. The study established that apart from Internet penetration, factors of perceived usefulness, ease of use and computer literacy would influence the adoption of television streaming. However, while there is increased Internet penetration, high cost of Internet data plans remains a challenge. The study recommended that the government and Internet Service Providers work towards achieving affordable Internet plans across the country.In addition,the federal government should reduce Internet licensing fee to encourage new investors and increase competition.
Keywords: Television streaming, Internet penetration, Computer literacy, Perceived usefulness, Ease of use.
1.1 Background to the Study
Advancement in computer technology has led to many innovations especially with the advent of the Internet. The proliferation of the Internet is changing different sectors in the world, the media industry inclusive. One of the innovative applications of the Internet to the media industry is television streaming- the practice by which television stations provide media contents online. Technological convergence as defined by Okoro (2006) is the “the continuous development in media technology aimed at bringing about a blend in technologies in the process of message delivery” p. 4. The implication of this is the meeting point between computer technologies and television leading to the formation of television streaming. Television streaming as described by Gerbarg and Noam (2003) is the “quint essential digital convergence medium putting together television,telecommunications,the Internet,computer applications” p. xxi.
Before the advent of the Internet, television stations were limited by geographical boundaries and by signal strength of airwaves. For television viewers also, the feedback mechanism was either limited or delayed because not all the audiences could give their views or opinions about happenings around them. In addition, limited television programmes were available for television audiences, at a stipulated time. Thus, television audiences are often saddled with limited choice of television programmes and there was no alternative means of watching a missed programme. However, one major benefit of television streaming to media operators is that it creates a forum to a wider reach of audience because they are not restrained by on-air signal or coverage. As such, television stations’ contents that are streamed online can be viewed across geographical boundaries. To the audience, they also stand to benefit from watching television programmes on the Internet. The innovation of television streaming aid the audiences to watch their favourite television programmes regardless of wherever they are in the world as long as they are connected to the Internet. It also reduces the frequency by which audiences miss television programmes because they can now access missed favourite programmes using Video on Demand (VoD) television viewing on the Internet. With a laptop or a mobile phone, audience can connect to a television station’s website in order to watch programmes as television programmes can now be viewed on the move and this elevates television to a mobile medium status.
Ikpe and Olise (2010) and Livingstone(2003) observed that with television streaming, the scope of television coverage is enhanced; the geographical signal limitation of a television station is eliminated as it paves way for a broader and wider audience cutting across geographical boundaries. The need for the adoption of television streaming is imperative as the media audience is shifting from the traditional media to the new media due to its feedback mechanism which enhances interactivity among media professionals and media audiences. For a smooth streaming experience however, Mirza and Beltrán (2014) argued that high-speed broadband technologies should be in place to enhance individual consumption. For this to be achieved, streaming media applications are compressed to be compatible with the end users’ Internet connectivity. This implies that streaming services take into consideration the availability and quality of Internet connectivity that the end users possess.