Live TV Viewership Down As Streaming Services Rise

Live TV Viewership Down As Streaming Services Take Over

Watching live television is so 2013. According to a new report from Nielsen, traditional television viewership is down 4 percent from the third quarter of 2013 to the third quarter of 2014, with viewers using more streaming services, on demand platforms and digital devices to consume content.

In the Total Audience Report, Nielsen found that live television consumption dropped from four hours and 44 minutes a day in Q3 of 2013 to four hours and 32 minutes a day in Q3 of 2014. Monthly viewership over the two quarters was down as well: from 147 hours to 141 hours. Those losses were accompanied by a two-minute rise in "time shifted" viewing, as well as increased viewing on digital devices, like smart phones and tablets. There was also a 19 percent rise in subscription video on demand. As Time noted, 2.8 percent of U.S. households are now "broadband only"; last year, that figure was 1.1 percent.

“While we are not seeing a departure from media content consumption, we do see a shift in consumer behavior and today we see a resounding growth in consumption on digital platforms,” Dounia Turrill, senior vice president of insights at Nielsen, wrote in the report. “The growing penetration of new devices and the popularity of subscription-based streaming services, time shifting and over-the-top viewing -- as well as cord-cutting and cord shaving -- are fundamentally changing the TV industry."

For more on the Nielsen report, head to The Wall Street Journal.

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