Are Consumers Still Spending Too Much On Linear TV And Streaming?

The wealth of TV content on linear TV (broadcast and cable networks) and streaming (ad-supported and subscription) services means many consumers could be spending as much as $142 a month for total video entertainment services, according to Adam Symson, president and chief executive officer of E.W. Scripps.

That is much higher than when those consumers -- until recently -- were paying from $90 to $100 for a legacy pay TV provider -- cable, satellite, or telco service -- for all their needs.

So, is the price tag of $142/month a good deal? Maybe not.

Symson, speaking recently at the Deutsche Bank media conference, believes that over-the-air TV stations' content may be getting lost in the transition. Still, he finds hope that younger TV consumers are looking to save money, and since over-the-air TV is essentially free, looks to that demographic group of users getting new digital antennas as a way to get TV station content.



Yes, cord-cutters are still everywhere. But at the same time, there are older consumers who are just adding to their video entertainment pile. But what is the real bottom line?

TV station executives are trying to appeal not just to cord-cutting consumers, but cost-saving consumers. Symson says one in four broadband homes use an antenna to get free, over-the-air TV. So there are signs of a solid -- although small -- base of long-term consumers who are satisfied with this now basic digital distribution alternative.

And to compete with all new streaming options, this can help with streaming ‘fatigue’ -- especially with all the marketing and promotions, Symson believes, although he did not provide specific details.

This can be seen as a signal that traditional TV station groups are still highly focused on their core business -- while pursuing the new digital-friendly next-generation TV standard: locally-focused OTT ad-sales business units, locally-based digital TV networks and datacasting sales to non-TV media devices.

The keywords in that last paragraph are: digital and data.

All that still leaves us right back where we started -- legacy TV businesses executives continuing to scratch their heads about what comes next.

1 comment about "Are Consumers Still Spending Too Much On Linear TV And Streaming?".
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  1. Fred B from New Realm Media, March 20, 2022 at 12:10 a.m.

    "TV station executives are trying to appeal not just to cord-cutting consumers, but cost-saving consumers."

    How? Most people do not realize you can use an antenna to access local services. If they are, they are doing a poor job.

    An education campaign should be initiated especially around cost savings, programs, and the use of antennas.

    An initiative to immerse younger talent in over-the-air programming in local markets would also help with this.

    Start pushing antennae on college students and the older generation.

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