We were always told by our parents that watching too much TV will make your eyes go square… go outside and play! I guess it’s a case of be careful what you wish for. While I have not exactly kept a log book, I am convinced beyond a doubt that my kids spend (too) much more time in front of the computer screen than they do in front of the TV. This article Millennials ditching their TV sets at a record rate in the NY Post seems to put my kids in the center of the bell curve. While they are not in the 18-34 age group, my gut says the 8-15 group would be even higher – they think TV is for old-timers!
Nielsen figures show
- Traditional TV usage — which has been falling among viewers ages 18 to 34 at around 4 percent a year since 2012 — tumbled 10.6 percent between September and January.
- In the era of smartphones and Netflix, it’s no surprise that traditional TV is losing relevance for younger viewers. But the sudden acceleration is alarming to even the most seasoned analysts.
- “The change in behavior is stunning. The use of streaming and smartphones just year-on-year is double-digit increases,” Alan Wurtzel, NBCUniversal’s audience research chief, told The Post. “I’ve never seen that kind of change in behavior.”
- Brad Adgate, Horizon Media’s chief researcher and often one of the first to spot trouble, was equally surprised at the sudden drop.
- “Usage is really down in the 18- to 34-year-old demographic this season,” he said.
- “Industrywide declines in ratings are generating debate about ways to close the gap between currently accepted ratings and actual consumption,” Viacom CEO Philipe Dauman said in a recent earnings call.
- NBC hopes to juice ratings with data on viewers who are watching shows via NBC.com and online hub Hulu. To bolster its case, the network points out that an additional half-million viewers ages 18 to 49 watch the hit show “The Blacklist” on digital devices.
It is not uncommon for me to get home from work and find the kids in front of YouTube or Minecraft. Before I get a whole lot of comments back telling me what a bad parent I am, I suggest you check out your own kids habits. So far only one of my kids (50%) has a smartphone.
The big question here is that if everyone is leaving tradition TV in droves, where are they going and what is the opportunity for the operators? Will this bolster the use case for targeted or behavioral advertising? There are still considerable hurdles, particularly with regards to privacy, but if they can be ironed out soon, this may turn into a considerable revenue. Perhaps if the OTT players and operators were to work together on advertising, some of these hurdles could be cleared a little quicker?
And as for the traditional pay-tv providers – don’t worry too much about them, they are moving online in droves.