A small segment of young consumers isn't ready to anoint content as king. The price of that content may actually be taking that crown, instead.
Nielsen says some 4 million homes -- 6% of all non-cable TV homes -- haven't "cut the cord" because of backlash anger over cable companies. They haven't installed it in the first place.
These viewers are young, 18- to 34-year-olds, in "emerging" homes. They are downscale or middle income, college-educated, some of ethnic background. All this make sense: Graduating college students would seem to continue their college habits in the real world, with real jobs.
But these viewers bust the myth of their fellow consumers: Nielsen says they are surprisingly "light" TV and video consumers.
Here's another busted myth: While viewing levels watching an average TV show are virtually consistent from the first to last minute, viewing levels for the average show streamed online drop substantially from first minute to last. I'm guessing you could attribute this to the short-attention-span, YouTube approach to things.
About 2.5% of all video viewing among major demographics is online; that means TV still commands a big 97.5% share -- something isn't likely to change anytime soon.
"Online really needs to grow to make a significant dent. There is a long way to go," said Jon Gibs, vice president of media analytics for The Nielsen Co., during a presentation at Nielsen's Consumer 360 conference in Las Vegas recently.
Overall, this means people don't watch video the same way on their computers as they do with a live TV show, or with time-shifted viewing. Gibs says it means content isn't actually king, but the platform first -- then, content, a close second. Traditional TV still comes first because it's the best screen. But it is not always the most readily available. That would seemingly be your laptop, mobile phone, or iPad.
We are pretty sure if content isn't quite king across all media platforms, it surely is the up-and-coming lieutenant -- perhaps one with a bad attitude -- looking to take the kingdom by storm if necessary. But what if some light-video-using young viewers grow in number, if not continue to shrug their shoulders?