Roughly two years in the past, Nielsen began utilizing a brand new metric for measuring how folks spend their TV-watching time. It in-built buckets for broadcast TV, cable TV, streaming, and a catchall known as “Different” that accounted for folks utilizing gaming consoles and media gamers. The most recent report reveals broadcast and cable TV every dropping about one % from June 2023 to July 2023. Streaming and the “Different” class every gained that one % in the identical time interval.
However when you examine issues to a yr in the past, the decline is far more pronounced. The analytics agency confirmed that cable utilization had dropped by 12.5 % since this time final yr, accounting for lower than a 3rd of viewers’ time, whereas broadcast TV slid to only one-fifth of whole watch time in American houses.
On the similar time, Nielsen says streaming had a record-breaking month led by YouTube and Netflix, which collectively accounted for nearly as a lot viewer time spent as broadcast alone. Nielsen’s “Different” class has been up constantly for the final three months, though it was truly down a share level from the identical time final yr.
This pattern is supported by the newest numbers from Leichtman Research, which dropped a report estimating cable suppliers misplaced an estimated 1.73 million subscribers within the second quarter of 2023. “We expect the metrics for linear TV are all unhealthy,” Macquarie media analyst Tim Nolle famous in an August 14 investor report The Hollywood Reporter acquired.
There’s nonetheless an opportunity for conventional TV. Free ad-supported TV services like Tubi and The Roku Channel are rising in recognition, and when you discuss to anybody within the broadcast TV enterprise, they’ll inform you ATSC 3.0 could save TV too. However conventional TV isn’t simply competing with Disney Plus and Max; it is competing with YouTube and TikTok, and different video suppliers that may depend on creators to churn out content material quicker and extra cheaply than NBC or CBS. So Nielsen’s information of declining viewership isn’t a shock as a lot because it was at all times a considerably miserable inevitability.