Why TV Viewership is in Decline

It’s no news that TV viewership is on the decline. However, people have different ideas about and reasons why this is happening. It may be because of the advent of the internet, lack of interest in TV shows or the Over The Top (OTT) TV i.e. content providers that distribute streaming media as a standalone product directly to consumers over the Internet, bypassing telecommunications, multichannel television, and broadcast television platforms that traditionally act as a controller or distributor of such content.

Before today, the last time I watched a TV was during the 2018 World Cup match between England and Colombia. And that was while I was doing something else on my laptop. I sincerely don’t watch TV that much. Much of the TV news, shows, series etc I watch are streamed online. I’m certain that you have a similar experience and probably you have a different reason why you do not watch TV as much as you used to.

TV viewership is on the decline and this is especially common among people between the age of 18 and 24 years old. According to the TV viewership trends by Marketing Charts, it shows that youth in the United States are watching far less traditional TV than they used to. They watch less than 2 hours per day of traditional TV.

tv viewership trends

Image source: Marketing Charts

The decline in TV viewership also exists with other age groups, however, not as large as people between the age of 18-24. This shows basically that there is a common reason why different age groups are watching less of TV. What could that be?

According to Fortune, subscribers to traditional cable services declined 3.4% over the course of 2017, a faster decline than in 2015 and 2016. This drop-off is continuing to accelerate. At the same time, streaming services, also known as “over the top” or OTT services, are showing gains that are even more dramatic. Subscribers and growth are accelerating for the OTTs. There are a lot of factors driving the dramatic transition e.g. user experience, pricing, services, convenience, availability etc.

Despite the general decline in TV viewership, older audiences still watch TV more than any other audience. More than half of the people who are 65 and older still watch local, network and cable TV for current news. The decline starts with people below the age of 64-year-old.

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