Viewer Cannibalization: Young Media Feeding On Linear TV-Based Content In Other Places

Cannibalization. The word keeps returning to the conversation with regard to a wide-ranging number of TV-media companies that have both linear TV and streaming platforms competing aggressively with each other for audience.

Are those companies attempting in any way to track that behavior?

ITV, the U.K. advertising-supported network, says it needs to fight even harder to maintain viewership -- while at the same time doing everything it can to build its direct-to-consumer (D2C) video platform ITVX.

Is there erosion at its traditional platforms? Yes, as there is with almost every global linear TV network, according to analysts.

ITV admits there is an explosion of content everywhere, which makes things tougher.



TV network-focused companies talk a lot about their expanding businesses -- especially all the money they generate. At the same time, they worry about advertising dollars slipping with linear TV. They might blame cord-cutting, but it stops there.

Where exactly are those cord-cutters going when they drop their cable/satellite/virtual TV packages? Some of them have been watching the NBC Television Network -- and other content for sure.

And some of those are not now all Peacock subscribers -- or Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney.

Can tracking follow, for example, those who have moved from watching NBC prime-time shows to watching content on Peacock? Does it matter?

It's all a spider web of indirect connections from the former to the present -- made more complicated if they are still returning every now and then to view a couple episodes of the “The Voice” on a digital antenna or elsewhere.

No matter, they might say. It's all bad news for linear TV and good news for their D2C businesses. And that's enough. 

Shouldn’t it be enough to talk up the $2 billion in ad revenue for Paramount Global’s D2C businesses (Paramount+ and Pluto), $1 billion ad revenue estimate for Fox’s Tubi in 2023 and a current $2 billion “run-rate” for NBCU's Peacock?

Well, yes, that would be good news. But where, oh where, did those specific advertising (and subscription) revenues come from?

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