Last week, global information and measurement company Nielsen came out with Q1 2015’s Total Audience Report. For those following the media landscape, the report gives powerful insight into how content is being consumed across a host of devices: television, radio, PCs, smartphones, and tablets.
And there is a shift going on: no doubt about it. The trend should terrify television broadcasters and cable providers. Demand for television is falling as consumers, especially millennials, are increasingly choosing to consume content from other sources. Here are a few of Nielsen’s key takeaways.
While it still commands the largest share of leisure time for adults 18 and above, traditional TV (a term that includes both live and on-demand viewing) appears to have peaked in terms of total viewing time and total market share.
In the first quarter of 2013, adults 18 and older watched an average of 5 hours and 40 minutes of television per day, climbing slightly to 5:44 in 2014’s first quarter. In the recently reported first quarter of 2015, that fell to 5:30, with live television providing the totality of the drop in viewing. And while 14 minutes doesn’t seem like a large drop, remember that this refers to the total U.S. adult population, where one fewer minute of viewing can be worth millions in lost advertising dollars.
It isn’t that Americans are consuming less content, however. It’s just that they are using new services to do so. According to Nielsen’s data, Americans are spending more time on the various video on demand distribution platforms it tracks than ever before.
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