A new study released by Arbitron suggests that appointment media has both feet in the grave:

A STUDY RELEASED WEDNESDAY BY research firm Arbitron traces the growth of the media on-demand marketplace over the last year, and shows the consumer strength of the demographics most attuned to on-demand offerings. Titled “Internet and Multimedia 2006: On-Demand Media Explodes,” the Arbitron study found that 51 million Americans had a “heavy preference” for on-demand consumption versus 27 million a year ago.


The second study suggests that 40 percent of Americans, forced to choose, would ditch their television in favor of the Internet.

What’s that cracking sound? It’s the dam that’s holding billions of ad dollars in scheduled network and cable TV programming. Within the next year or two, the damn will burst, and those dollars will come gushing out. TV’s on-demand online programing will catch some, but much of it will flow elsewhere.

When set free, ad dollars, like water, likely won’t stay all in one place.