We Don't Need No Stinkin' TV

Call it cord cutting. Or call it the rise of Internet video. Whatever you call it, traditional TV viewing has slipped dramatically among viewers between the ages of 18 and 34.

Fresh ratings numbers from The Nielsen Co. (as reported by the New York Post) show that TV usage dropped 10.6% between last September and January. By the end of January, only 17.8 million viewers in the 18 to 34 cohort were watching primetime shows on their TV sets, down sharply from 21.7 million in 2011.

The Nielsen findings support other recent reports of TV's decline. In a benchmark survey, Forrester Research Inc. found that only 46% of respondents between 18 and 88 years old said they typically watched traditional linear TV. For millennials, that number dipped to 40%.

However, the decline in regular TV watching is mirrored by a rise in online video viewing. According to Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE)'s 2014 Video Benchmark Report, online TV viewing jumped 388% year-over-year, with numbers rising for both unique monthly views and time spent watching content online. (See Online Viewing Goes Over the Top.)

Want to know more about OTT video? Check out our OTT content channel on Light Reading.

For pay-TV providers, the move away from TV sets is a good reason for focusing on multiscreen video delivery. The trend also shows why service providers and programmers alike are experimenting with online-only packages, skinnier content bundles and ad insertion strategies that cut across every type of connected device. (See Verizon Likes OTT Video Prospects, Dish Slings EPIX Online and Multiscreen Video Goes Regional.)

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

MordyK 2/20/2015 | 10:46:26 AM
Re: Triple play I understand that they see it as a core of their offering, but the fact is that its a service that is no longer "core" to their business, yet at the same time the cost for TV per sub is fixed.

If Cable's historic "core" offering was TV, today it's internet. Everything - including their voice and TV - rides or has the potential to ride over the internet, but there's no bypassing the internet.
t.bogataj 2/20/2015 | 3:01:04 AM
Re: Triple play @MordyK (bewildered why telcos are still pushing triple play)

That's an easy one. Because for a dedicated (multicast) IPTV stream the operators are allowed to address QoS, including prioritising the traffic and guaranteeing the bandwidth.

For any kind of OTT video service (including TV-like stuff), they cannot: they immediately bump into issues of "net neutrality" or data caps.

That's why.

kq4ym 2/18/2015 | 11:54:32 AM
Re: Triple play It might be interesting to see if advertisers switch to more use of multi device viewership or simply revise their placement of age group related ads to the appropriate venue. Ads for differrent age groups may start showing in vastly different places even though total ad spends stay even or increasing?
MordyK 2/17/2015 | 4:08:15 PM
Triple play As these numbers drop, I am bewildered why the telco's and cable companies are still pushing triple play instead of promoting double-play with comeling offerings that are more than just $5 off teh triple play offerings.
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