Television / Video

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In today’s media landscape, most consumers don’t differentiate between programming viewed on broadcast, cable, ADS-delivered, and online or mobile channels.  It’s all considered “TV viewing” and the positives, opportunities and challenges apply to “video” across the board:

  • TV set penetration in U.S. households is high:
    • 98% of households have a TV
    • Average household has 2.7 TV sets

(Source: Media Dynamics, Inc. – The Media Book 2014)

  • Majority of American homes have wired cable or some alternate delivery system

    • 65% of households had wired cable service in 2000, the all-time high for cable access
    • Cable penetration has declined to 60% of all TV households since that
    • 31% of households now have some form of alternate delivery service (ADS) such as satellite, telecom
    • ADS-delivery is up from 10% of homes in 2000

(Source: Media Dynamics, Inc. – The Media Book 2014)

  • Americans spend a lot of their media time with TV/Video:
    • TV garners 55.7% of American’s total media time  (Magna Global, 2014)
    • Adults spend an estimated 36 hours and 56 minutes per week watching “traditional” or “live” television
    • Time spent with video rises to 52+ hours per week when timeshifted TV and digital access is included

(Source: Nielsen Cross-Platform Report, March 2014)

  • "Live" or "traditional" TV viewing takes place primarily within the home
    • 91% of adults’ TV exposure still takes place in their own home or someone else’s

(Source: Media Dynamics, Inc. – Intermedia Dimensions 2014)

  • Internet and mobile platforms allow for TV everywhere, but adaption percentages are still low
  • Expanded digital viewing will be advantageous to advertisers, allowing exposure closer to point of purchase

  • The mass reach once afforded by advertising on broadcast TV networks has declined due to:
    • Access to multiple TV sets/screens within homes
      • TV used to be a group activity with everyone in the household gathered in front of the TV
      • Multiple sets/multiple screen options have transformed viewing into a more solitary, singular activity

  • Availability of more channels
    • Network TV once dominated with 3-6 channel options
    • Average home in 2014 typically selects from 140+ channels delivered via cable, satellite

(Source: Media Dynamics, Inc. – The Media Book 2014)

  • Digital-only platforms such as Hulu, Netflix, etc. have drawn viewers from broadcast, cable, ADS
  • Video on Demand (VOD) options growing, gaining awareness among consumers

  • Nearly half (48%) of households have a DVR or set-top device to record programs

(Source: Media Dynamics, Inc. – Intermedia Dimensions 2014)

  • Consumers no longer need to make an “appointment” to watch their favorite shows
    • Prime-time programs recorded for later viewing, binge-viewing
    • Time-shifting of programs challenges advertisers placing time-sensitive commercials
    • Consumers may delete or skip over commercials in recorded programming

  • Television commands more advertising dollars than any other medium, but low volume relative to time spent:
    • TV spending in 2013 was $65.8 Billion (PwC Global Entertainment & Media Outlook: 2014-2018)
    • TV advertising expenditures represented 43.2% of total media spending in 2013 (vs 55.7% of media time)

(Source: Magna Global, 2014)

  • U.S. advertisers invest approximately $0.17 per U.S. adult hour spent with the medium

(Source: eMarketer in Marketing Charts Debrief, Q3 2014)

Key Links to additional information on Television:

For data on cable penetration, ADS for specific DMAs:

For data on specific cable carriers within major markets: