6 Facts About the Current State of Television – Both Broadcast and Streaming

Larry Adoff

Larry Adoff About The Author

Jun 1, 2021 2:45:00 PM


6 Facts About the Current State of Television – Both Broadcast and Streaming

If you're wondering whether television is on its way out as people make the transition to digital media, the fact is that it isn't going anywhere. While there are some changing trends in the way people watch TV and the demographics of viewers, both broadcast TV and streaming are going strong.   

To help illustrate how linear TV and streaming are performing today, we've gathered some streaming metrics and stats that indicate the industry's direction.  

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1. Daily TV Viewing Has Fluctuated in Recent Years

Screen Shot 2021-05-28 at 11.08.14 AMDaily viewership might not be drastically increasing, but it's far from dropping significantly. According to Nielsen in its 2020 Total Audience Report, TV viewing among adults ages 18 and older dropped 5% in Q4 2020 compared to 2018. However, it was up from 2019. The effects of the pandemic may have helped contribute to the increase in viewership by the latter half of 2020.

2. Average Daily Digital Video Viewing Is Increasing

The Nielsen report also found that the average daily digital video viewing among U.S. adults increased by 70% in 2020. This was primarily due to the growth of connected TV (CTV) device usage, which escalated from 44 minutes to 1-1/4 hours per day.   

The hike in viewership means that more people were using smart TVs, Roku devices, and Apple TVs to watch videos on at least one streaming service. That viewership is projected to surge even further in the years ahead as streaming becomes progressively more popular, particularly among younger consumers.

3. Linear TV Viewership Remains Steady

Screen Shot 2021-05-28 at 11.08.20 AMLinear TV viewership saw no change last year. The Nielsen report determined that U.S. adults watch the same percentage as they did in 2019. This effectively shows that linear TV is likely to remain in place despite the continued growth of streaming platforms and connected devices. 

4. Linear TV Still Grabs the Most Attention

Additionally, the Nielsen report confirmed that linear TV still accounts for the greatest percentage of time spent consuming video. Compared to streaming and other types of video content, linear TV still reigns supreme among adult viewers.  

Streaming services might be attracting a more significant number of younger viewers, along with over-the-top (OTT) advertising that comes with its benefits. However, this steady viewership proves that linear TV is still one of the most reliable platforms to use if you want to gain and hold your audience's attention.

5. Adults All Consume Media on Multiple Platforms

Screen Shot 2021-05-28 at 11.08.28 AMGenerally, American adults use various platforms to watch their favorite shows, movies, news, and other video content. As Nielsen found, some people are exclusively streamers, as broadband-only (BBO) homes account for 17%  of consumers.  

The majority, however, still utilize multiple platforms for viewing different media, whether they use linear TV, CTV, mobile, or other devices and platforms. Regardless of the demographics you want to target, this reveals the importance of using a multi-platform marketing strategy to reach your audiences.

6. Many Adults in Phoenix Get Their News Online and Through TV

If you’re targeting audiences in the Phoenix area, both TV and digital news platforms are popular among local audiences. According to Scarborough on the whole in Phoenix, adding a digital component to a linear campaign will create a 12% viewing lift. AZ Family’s website in conjunction with KPHO and KTVK add a 19% lift to a linear-only campaign outperforming the market average. Subsequently, connecting linear and digital viewing of TV commercials can maximize your reach. 

TV Is Here to Stay 

Screen Shot 2021-05-28 at 11.08.36 AMMany business owners and marketers worry that TV is dwindling in popularity, making them reluctant to use it for advertising out of fear of wasting their budget. The data shows that this simply isn't happening. The demand for linear TV, especially local news and live sports, shows its unmatched value for reaching consumers. A growing number of people are turning to both linear TV and streaming, not necessarily one or the other.  

Today, as Nielsen data proves, linear TV continues to attract more than 70% of adults' daily time spent viewing video. Whether you want to reach people via linear TV, streaming, or other media, it's essential to determine what your audience is viewing and where they spend their time. 

TV advertising is as relevant as it's ever been. Using OTT ads on streaming services may help grab many audiences' attention, but linear TV remains just as crucial for a successful advertising strategy. To get the best possible results from your marketing efforts, develop a multi-platform strategy that combines the benefits of each outlet. Looking to the future, keep in mind that TV commercials will likely remain necessary for building a successful business, regardless of your industry. 

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Topics: TV Advertising, Streaming & OTT