Blog Post

If TV is dead, why are so many people watching it?

Sep 21, 2015

After watching the Emmys, we couldn’t help but think about how TV is supposed to be dead by now. But instead, it’s just growing more heads.

According to Nielson the average person in America watches just under five-hours of TV a day. That number has been pretty consistant hovering around the five-hour mark for the past few years. But here’s the thing: Nielsen only tracks live TV viewing, or traditional TV. When you add time spent watching streaming content like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Vudu plus online viewing and app viewing it’s pretty clear that TV video consumption overall is growing like crazy. Throw in the constant mobile viewing and TV is not only alive and well, it’s sorta out of control.

While traditional broadcast TV numbers for 18 – 24 year olds have declined, those eyeballs are simply moving to streaming TV, online programing or delayed viewing. Plus binge viewing has also shifted the paradigm and opened up a whole new world of TV opportunity for viewers and advertisers.

Is there actually too much good TV?

As the Emmys showed, there is more great programming to watch on more platforms than ever before. According to industry insiders there are roughly twice as many shows as there was just five years ago. And more shows means more advertising potential and more eyeballs. Of course, it makes it harder to decide where to put your dollars: network, cable, streaming, online, long content video, hell, create your own content. But you have to be part of some kind of TV to get in front of the growing numbers watching stuff.

Still not convinced? Just ask the next president.

As the Presidential race heats up, follow the money to TV. The Wall Street Journal points out the continued millions being spent on TV along with the digital and social programs the candidates need to get their messages out. The presidential purchase funnel, sadly, is not a whole lot different than your box of breakfast cereal.

What does it all mean?

Advertisers need to make sure TV is part of the mix, somehow. It may not appear where it did ten years ago and it may not be a simple :30 or :60 second spot that runs on a network or cable buy. But you have to plan for TV/video content to run around all the amazing programs that are out there.


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