The hyper-fragmentation of consumer choice across all screens is reducing the share of choices they make to watch a TV channel. That’s among the top findings coming out of the latest edition of Nielsen’s “Total Audience Report.”
The report, which was released to clients Thursday, is the first to publish shares of channels received and viewed by the average American household in a while.
It shows the average number viewed has fallen to less than 10% of the channels they receive.
That’s down dramatically from the last time Nielsen published such data, which showed the average was still in the double digits.
Moreover, the number of channels available to the average TV household has exploded to 205.9, but they only “view” 19.8 of them on average. The last time Nielsen provided data to Media Daily News, was for 2014, when the average number viewed was 21.0. Nielsen did not disclose the number of households receivable, or the percentage of those channels viewed at that time.
The reason for the decline: Despite increases in the number of choices the average TV household now has from television, it is choosing to spend increasingly more of their time choosing to view things that are not on television.
“Average television channels viewed has flattened or decreased slightly from prior years,” Nielsen explains in the report, noting: “This suggests a change in choice order as channels that were once viewed are being replaced by other sources.”
The report, including an introductory note from Nielsen SVP, Audience Insights Glenn Enoch, says the average number of channels available has actually started to decline “as multichannel penetration decreases and cord shaving increases,” but the report does not provide the actual trend numbers associated with that.
in additiion, the report documents how the number of viewing options available to the average U.S. household continues to explode from other platforms, including mobile, desktop, etc.While the average number of TV channels viewed is 19.8, the average number of Internet sites visited monthly is now 55, while the average number of mobile phone apps used monthly is now 28.