TV Usage Falls In February; OTT Grows Overall

TV usage fell in February -- with overall over-the-top internet TV viewing continuing to rise rapidly.

Brian Wieser, senior research analyst for Pivotal Research Group, says total TV usage fell by 2.2% during February, on a household basis, and by 2.8% for adults 18-49 viewing. This was reversal of year-over-year viewing growth posted during January.

The total ad-supported cable networks' share of 18-49 TV viewing dropped to 42.8% in February 2016 from 44.1% in February 2015. English-language broadcast TV was down to a 20.2% from 20.8% a year ago.

Internet-connected device viewing continues to grow quickly on a year-to-year basis -- up to a 6% share of 18-49 viewing from a 3.5%.

However, Wieser writes that TV’s usage drop on a month-to-month basis may not be pinned necessarily to the growth of OTT viewing.

He says: “The share of viewing accounted for by Internet-connected devices actually declined slightly on a sequential monthly basis to account for 6.0% of total day viewing during February, versus 6.1% of total day viewing during January.”

Looking more specifically, Wieser says prime time, Internet-connected device-based viewing fell to a 5.9% share TV viewing in February from 6.5%.

Other TV usage categories: video-game console share of 18-49 TV viewing grew to 8.7% from 8.3%; premium pay TV slipped 3.5% from 3.7% a year ago; Spanish-language broadcast TV was down to a 3.5% from 4.0%.

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