Ups And Downs Of Live TV

According to Nielsen’s third-quarter (2016) Total Audience Report, presented by Jon Lafayette, the decline in live TV viewing slowed in the third quarter, as the number of TV households drop with more people adding streaming services.

The amount of time people spent watching live TV per day dropped by one minute to 4 hours and 6 minutes in the third quarter from 3Q 2015:

  • The amount of time spent with DVRs and time-shifted TV, rose by that same amount to 29 minutes from 28 minutes.
  • In the second quarter, live viewing dropped two minutes.
  • A year ago in the third quarter, there was a bigger drop of 6 minutes to 4 hours and 13 minutes.
  • Time spent using an app on a smartphone rose to 2:10 from 1:14 a year ago.

The number of TV households with subscription video-on-demand services, such as Netflix, rose to 54% in the third quarter of 2016 from 46% a year earlier:

  • SVOD had only a small rise from 53% in the second quarter.
  • Homes with smartphones rose to 84% from 78%
  • Homes with tablets rose to 61% from 54%.

Meanwhile, the number of households subscribing to pay-TV fell 1.8% to 89.2 million from 100 million a year ago. In the second quarter, the report says that there were 98.7 million pay-TV homes. The decline in pay-TV homes has been closely watched because of concerns that cord cutting and cord shaving are cutting into the distribution revenue generated by programmers, says the report.

The number of broadband-only homes rose 27% to 4.6 million from 4.36 million, while broadcast-only homes rose 12% to 14.3 million from 12.8 million.

Wired cable homes rose slightly to 52.8 million homes from 52.3 million homes and satellite rose to 35 million homes from 34.6 million homes. Telco dropped to 10.8 million from 13.5 million as Dish was involved in a number of carriage disputes with programmers, and AT&T worked to shift subscribers from its U-verse platform to DirecTV.

In this report, Nielsen focused on the 25.1 million women 18-49 living in their own home with children under 12 years old. The report divided these women into working moms and stay-at-home moms.

Glenn Enoch, senior VP, audience insights at Nielsen, says “… this report looks at the effects of age and number of children on these two groups… (with) an extensive profile of working and stay-at-home moms… “

Enoch goes on to say “… stay-at-home moms spend more time with the TV screen (both live TV and OTT devices)… working moms spend more time listening to radio… stay-at-home moms who use digital devices, spend more time with PCs, smartphones, and tablets…”

The report says that 39% of all women 18-49 are moms. Of those, 26% are stay-at-home moms and 74% are working moms. Among millennial women, 33% are moms, and 29% of those stay at home while 71% work.

Working moms are more affluent (median income of $67,000 per year, compared to $50,000 for stay-at-home moms) and therefore more likely to have a high-speed internet connection (broadband), a PC, and a tablet, says the report. They are also more likely to have a DVR and subscription video on demand, both of which offer additional alternatives for viewing content on demand for these moms that spend more time out of the home.

  • Stay-at-home moms spend more time watching TV, averaging 32:40 per week compared to 26:10 for working moms. Working moms listen to more radio, averaging 13:45, compared to stay at home moms, who average 12:07.
  • Both stay-at-home moms and working moms spend 70% of the time consuming media with live TV. Working moms spent slightly more of their time on DVRs and time-shifted TV at 12%, compared to 11% for stay-at-home moms.

Despite having more devices and services available to them, working moms are more likely to watch only traditional TV on an average day when they turn on the television set. They are more likely to be multichannel subscribers and have more content available to them through traditional means, the Nielsen report concludes.

For additional information about the Nielsen report, please visit here.


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