More data showing traditional TV viewing dropping fast

By September 24, 2015TV

It’s premiere week this week in the US when the new season of TV kicks off and the news is that in key age groups far fewer people are watching (Nielsen data from Ad Age):

  • Number of adults age 18-49 watching dropped by 8%
  • Number of adults age 18-24 watching dropped by 18%

The fact that younger viewers are dropping TV faster than older viewers suggests the decline in TV viewing will accelerate. And it doesn’t take many years of 8-18% declines before there’s nothing left.

The big beneficiaries so far are of course internet and mobile streaming services YouTube, Netflix and HBO Go (the latter is now 2015s top grossing app). That’s old news though. What’s more interesting is where the next opportunities are coming, and with changes of this magnitude to an industry the size of TV there will others.

The one we’ve been thinking about recently is video and commerce. YouTube is on an amazing run and has spawned a whole ecosystem around YouTube stars, but making money on the platform is difficult and commerce isn’t well enabled. It looks like there’s space for something better.

  • Cable companies are doing this to themselves. For example last night I painfully watched an episode on-demand that I had missed. Comcast must have cut thirty or forty ads into it. But… they only sold three or four of them. So I was forced to watch (they disabled the fast forward function) thirty-seven ads for Comcast. But they don’t have thirty-seven different ads so they played the same ads back to back sometimes three times in a row. Five to seven minutes of show, then block of ads, repeat, repeat, repeat. Believe me I walked out of the room multiple times and missed half of the show because they had disabled the rewind/fast forward functions. And I am paying for this experience – paying a lot for it. And they wonder why people are dropping cable?

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