Survey: 49% Of Registered Voters Don't Have Traditional TV, 80% Stream

About half (49%) of registered U.S. voters no longer have traditional linear TV subscriptions, while more than 80% of registered voters nationally and in key battleground states stream, according to a new survey from  Samba TV and HarrisX. 

In addition, on a national level, independents, the key swing voter block, are least likely to have traditional TV (42%). In key battleground states, just 39% report having it currently. 

Among those who said they definitely plan to vote in the U.S. midterm elections, 55% nationally and 56% of those in key battleground states report having traditional TV subscriptions, and 80% report that they stream. 

Nationally, millennial and Gen Z voters were found to be more than twice as likely to stream as to have traditional linear TV subscriptions, with a wider gap in battleground states. 



The research also found one in four respondents who still have traditional TV subscriptions saying that they plan to cancel them within the next six months. 

Samba TV, whose advertising division markets targeted omniscreen reach and insights from about 28 million smart TVs in the U.S. (46 million globally), is citing the results of the research as evidence that political campaigns  should shift their focus toward connected TV (CTV) in the remaining time before the midterm elections. 

“With so many elections now being determined by the slimmest of margins, campaigns need to dramatically rethink how they reach voters in the closing weeks to ensure they are not just saturating the same shrinking number of households with ads while leaving the vast majority of the electorate under-reached,” argues Samba TV co-founder and CEO Ashwin Navin. 

The survey, conducted online Aug. 29-Sept. 1 among a nationally representative sample of 2,300 U.S. adults identified by HarrisX as registered voters, has a sampling margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points, according to HarrisX. 

Battleground state Democrats are much more likely to stream video on their mobile phones (72% compared to 59% of Republicans). 

On the social media front, Facebook remains the most-used platform by registered voters nationally but has less of an impact in the key battleground states, according to the survey. 

Democratic voters are more likely to use TikTok: 37%, versus 27% of Republican voters. 

Among younger Gen Zs, YouTube and TikTok are the top two social media platforms used weekly. 

3 comments about "Survey: 49% Of Registered Voters Don't Have Traditional TV, 80% Stream".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 12, 2022 at 8:57 a.m.

    Doesn't having a TV set and getting over-the-air content count as "traditional TV" ? Of course they left this segment, which amounts to about 15% of all TV homes per Nielsen and more by other sources, out in order to create the impression that you simply must invest heavily on CTV or AVOD otherwise you will miss half of the voters. Any sensible politician, with the aid of a professional media agency will consider all of the likely media mixes, their reach, audience duplication, CPMs, editorial slant, if any, ad exposure factors, etc. and make a decision  based on specific targeting needs, not highly generalized and potentially misleading findings such as these.

  2. T Bo from Wordpress replied, October 12, 2022 at 12:43 p.m.

    So it means to say that 49% of registered voters do not get over-the-air channels via cable? Still seems like a high (as in unreal) figure. Distortion more than clarity.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 12, 2022 at 1:13 p.m.

    With 80% of all TV homes---those with working TV sets----streaming while 75% of U.S. TV homes get "pay TV" or over-the-air TV it's pretty clear that most people---including likely voters---can be reached either or both ways. There's lots of duplication. indeed, the percentage of homes that can be reached only one way is fairly small---about 20% for "traditional TV" and about the same percentage for streaming---but not necessarily so for ad-supported streaming services. This will change as Netflix joins the ad-suppored ranks, providing it recruits a significant number of AVOD subs.

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