Live TV in Decline - One-Third of US Adults Bailing to Web

written by: Richard Kastelein

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A very interesting new study from Say Media (new company via merger of Six Apart and VideoEgg ), suggesting that 56 million, or one-third of adult Internet users, have reduced their live TV viewership in the USA. And they have introduced a couple of new demographic buzzwords for the emerging TV lexicon - called 'Opt-Outs' and 'On-Demanders'. 

Click here for full graphic

The research identified 2 categories: "Opt Outs" (22 million) who don't own a TV or haven't watched TV in the last week and stream more than 4 hours/week, and "On Demanders" (34 million) who also stream more than 4 hours/week and report watching less live TV than they did a year ago.

Not surprisingly, relative to Internet users as a whole, both Opt Outs and On Demanders skew younger and higher educated, though only the latter had higher income than the average Internet user. This type of research is important because the size of both the ad-supported and paid markets for live, first-run TV is far larger than catalog viewing. To the extent its appeal is diminishing as this study suggests poses big problems for everyone in the video ecosystem.

And they won't put up with ads.

On Demanders spend the most time with video content, yet they are the group who are the most irritated by intrusive, repetitive ads across all devices. Interestingly, Opt Outs have a more positive view of both online and mobile advertising — in our interviews we heard an implicit understanding of the trade offs for getting all of their favorite shows and programming for free online or through streaming video.

The good news for advertisers is that Opt Outs are not only more receptive to online and mobile advertising, but they also are consuming online content at unprecedented rates. Opt Outs, on average spend 2 hours daily watching video content online (twice as much time as the Rest of Internet). They also over index for time spent on blogs as well as other content they might have gotten through live TV like sports or news. On Demanders spend more time with online video as well as online entertainment (gaming, humor and movie) content.

Read the full report here. It's free. And it's an excellent primer for brands and marketers.

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