It’s no secret that linear TV viewing has been declining as American consumers -- especially younger ones -- shift to digital alternatives, but a new analysis from the equities research team at UBS shows that even older TV viewers have begun eroding for the first time.
The analysis of Nielsen estimates for persons using television (PUTs) shows viewers ages 55 or older declined for the first time during the past two quarters.
While total viewers (two years or older) have been eroding for some time, the fact that TV’s most diehard and heaviest viewers also are abandoning the medium should come as a wakeup call for many in the TV and advertising industry.
That’s especially true given that the 55-plus demographic currently represents more than half of all TV viewing.
“Older demos continue to worsen with the persons 35-49 demo seeing the greatest deceleration, now declining 11.9% vs. -10.2% last quarter and just -6.3% a year ago,” UBS analyst John Hodulik notes in the analysis, adding: “The persons 55-plus demo -- now >50% of total TV viewership -- continues to fall ~2% vs. 2% growth last year.”
In a secondary analysis indexing all of the major age groups viewing to 2010 levels, UBS finds that the youngest viewers have eroded 50% to 60% over that period.