While overall traditional TV has seen a drop in average viewership over the years, kids' TV viewing is falling at a steeper rate.
Bernstein Research says “average audiences on kids' networks are literally half of what they were six years ago” — about 1.25 million average viewers, down from roughly 2.5 million in 2011, in Nielsen C3 ratings for 2-11 viewers on a total day basis.
Since the fourth quarter of 2011, only two of 23 quarterly periods have shown growth — and 11 quarters in that six-year span have witnessed double-digit percentage declines.
“We don't know the internal mechanics of the 50% decline — is it a function of the same number of kids watching, but only watching half as much — or have half of kids stopped watching linear TV altogether?” writes Todd Juenger, senior media analyst for Bernstein Research. “We strongly suspect it's closer to the latter.”
Juenger also wonders how long traditional pay TV providers -- cable, satellite and telco -- will continue to pay high carriage fees for kids' networks when only a small amount of U.S. TV homes have children.
Bernstein Research says 75% of U.S. households don't have children under 12, according to the U.S. Census