Traditional TV Viewing: Biggest Decline From Teens, Young Adults

Continuing a trend in general traditional TV viewing, June witnessed young viewers' usage declining more than older viewers.

Among 12-17 viewers, traditional TV program viewing plus three days of time-shifted viewing (L3) was down 22%, while it sank 20% among young adults 18-24. Viewing for kids 2-11 was off 14%, while 25- to-34-year-olds lost 14%, according to Pivotal Research Group.

By way of comparison, adult viewers 18-49 dropped 11%, while adults 25-54 were down 14%; and 35-49 viewers were 10% lower. The percentage for adults 50 and older -- who represent 55% of all viewing during the month -- was virtually unchanged, while viewing among adults 55-64 declined 2%.

Overall, June viewing was down 7% versus the same month the year before.

Looking at TV network groups, Comcast’s NBCUniversal’s share among total viewers was up 14.2% from 13.7% and Viacom’s rose to 10.6% from 10.2%. Losers in the month included CBS, falling 6.5% from 7.0%; Disney-ABC, down from 12.7% to 11.4%, and Time Warner, dropping from 12.2% to 11.1%.

Pivotal’s analysis of Nielsen data comes from looking at “program-viewing” hours -- the average number of people watching a network group, network or program and the number of hours in the month the program or network was on-air.

Brian Wieser, senior research analyst at Pivotal, says: “It is also important to consider that most nontraditional forms of TV viewing are not included in program viewing or commercial viewing data assigned to specific programs as tracked by Nielsen... From our estimates, total consumption of video-based content is likely posting low single digit year-over-year growth.”

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