New cord cutting data spells trouble for traditional TV

7 Comments

Yup, it’s happening: TV viewers are abandoning traditional broadcast and cable networks for online streaming services, and new devices in their living rooms are making it easier for them to cut the cord. That’s the gist of two new studies from Nielsen and GfK.

Nielsen is reporting that traditional TV viewing dropped four percent last quarter, according to the Wall Street Journal. The average American watched 141 hours of TV per month during that time period, compared to 147 hours during the same time last year. Viewing of streaming services, on the other hand, rose to 11 hours per month, up from seven hours per month a year ago.

If that still seems like a steep imbalance, then it’s worth keeping in mind that Nielsen has effectively been undercounting [company]Netflix[/company] usage for years by only looking at PC-based streaming. The company is just now beginning to measure Netflix streaming to connected devices like Chromecast and Roku, and still isn’t capturing any mobile viewing data. For reference, Netflix subscribers stream more than 46 hours of movies and TV shows from the service every month on average, according to estimates from the Diffusion Group that are based on Netflix disclosures.

Adding to Nielsen’s data is a report from market research company GfK that estimates that one third of all consumers who own a Roku box, Chromecast stick or similar streaming device have reduced or eliminated their pay TV subscription. Twenty percent of all TV viewers own at least one of those devices, according to the GfK report, as reported by Broadband TV News.

7 Comments

John B

It’s noteworthy that they are now looking at some data. Last year the talking point was “cord cutters, they’re a myth.”

JCB

I don’t understand how there can be all these great increases in streaming/OTT viewing without accompanying increases in traditional over-the-air viewing. Think about it; I am a cord-cutter that combines OTT with OTA, watching traditional TV shows and sports via OTA and movies and complete seasons of shows where i may have missed episodes the first time around via OTT. What kind of BS reporting is this?

Gregory K. Laughlin

I agree. I think most cord cutters combine OTA and OTT. In fact, that’s one of the reason why old fashion broadcasting is making a huge comeback. On average, a new English-language, non-shopping, non-religious broadcast network has gone on the air every quarter for the past decade, that’s four new networks a year. Add in the foreign-language, shopping, and religious networks, and it is even more. In my market, barely in the top 50, I can receive 30 OTA networks. Last year, 94 of the top 100 shows were on OTA TV and 80% of all viewing was done through networks that are available OTA.

With Vudu (Wal-Mart), Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, and others, one can purchase current season passes to almost every popular show on cable, the ultimate in unbundling, for a fraction of the cost of a cable-bundle because you need only buy exactly what you want. But OTA is the foundation upon which cord cutting is built.

Gregory K. Laughlin

I agree. I think most cord cutters combine OTA and OTT. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why old fashion broadcasting is making a huge comeback. On average, a new English-language, non-shopping, non-religious broadcast network has gone on the air every quarter for the past decade, that’s four new networks a year. Add in the foreign-language, shopping, and religious networks, and it is even more. In my market, barely in the top 50, I can receive 30 OTA networks. Last year, 94 of the top 100 shows were on OTA TV and 80% of all viewing was done through networks that are available OTA.

With Vudu (Wal-Mart), Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, and others, one can purchase current season passes to almost every popular show on cable, the ultimate in unbundling, for a fraction of the cost of a cable-bundle because you need only buy exactly what you want. But OTA is the foundation upon which cord cutting is built.

mrschmoe

In canada we have limited selections on our Canadian Netflix. No Hulu available in Canada. Anyways, I think if broadcast and cable companies will have to adapt, dance to a new tune.

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