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Study: Chromecast Users Circumventing Network TV Viewing Restrictions

A new study finds a third of Google Chromecast owners are using the digital media streaming adapter daily to download and watch television shows on their TVs—rather than other devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets—in violation of network viewing restrictions. Typically, broadcasters specify the types of devices on which consumers can watch downloaded content for free or for a fee, based on licensing agreements with content providers. However, in an August 2013 online survey of 3,000 broadband households, market research firm Parks Associates found that Chromecast owners are watching current TV shows on their televisions via the Hulu online servicefor free, designed for viewing via conventional computers, instead of paying the service’s subscription charge for viewing televised content via Internet-connected TVs, mobile devices, and game consoles. They are also using Chromecast to view sports events that are streamed online but not broadcast, noted the Parks Associates researchers, which also violates viewing restrictions. “Chromecast is giving people in Hollywood headaches right now,” stated Parks Associates’ director of consumer analytics John Barrett. “All the wrangling over licensing restrictions doesn’t mean much if consumers can simply circumvent them.”  (The Los Angeles Times)(Mashable)(Parks Associates)

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