Nearly Half Of Internet Users No Longer Use Linear TV

Even as the U.S. approaches the tipping point in which half of households no longer subscribe to linear TV services, new research released this morning finds that nearly half of internet users worldwide already have abandoned it altogether.

The findings, which are self-reported, are based on interviews with 54,000 internet users across 28 countries conducted by Ampere Analysis, which estimates that 45% no longer watch linear TV of any kind.

That's more than double the 22% who said they had given up linear TV two years ago.

The bright side, of course, is that most of those internet users have simply shifted one distribution platform (broadcast or subscription television services) for another (streaming, OTT, CTV, VOD services).

The analysis doesn't address what, if any, of the shift is due to internet users abandoning TV-ish programming altogether, in favor of other options: short-form user-generated video, social media apps, games, etc., but it's clear that we are approaching a period in which the majority of consumers worldwide are nonlinear in their use of media overall.

I'm not sure what the long-term implications of that are, but as someone who has been gradually cutting the cord for the past year, I was alarmed to find out that 14 years after the U.S. shifted to digital broadcast spectrum, I can't even receive one commercial broadcast signal vis a vis a state-of-the-art digital antenna (unless I install a 30-foot tower to mount it on).

This troubles me for a number of reason, including potentially national security ones.

Last week I received a press release from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announcing that it had struck a deal with subscription satellite radio service SiriusXM providing "connectivity" of FEMA's "Integrated Public Alert & Warning System to Americans capable of receiving satellite radio signals.

In other words, I can no longer access a FEMA emergency broadcast signal via alerting me of natural or potentially unnatural disasters on my TV set, but I can access them via my digital satellite radio receiver, if I had one.

And yes, I know FEMA also has the ability to send alerts to mobile phones and over the internet, but if something really bad went down, I'm not sure how reliable mobile transmitters and internet servers might be, which is why I still have a battery-operated AM/FM transistor radio in my go bag.

5 comments about "Nearly Half Of Internet Users No Longer Use Linear TV".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, July 17, 2023 at 7:37 a.m.

    Linear TV has become the daily newspaper. Still alive but no longer central to our lives.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, July 17, 2023 at 8:56 a.m.

    Here  we go again, Joe. First question is why isn't the 65+ population segment---"linear TV's heaviest viewers by far---included. If I did a survey like this and excluded the18-34s would that be fair?

    Second question. The implication is that as "everybody" uses the internet that "linear TV" is missing half of the consumer population---but is it? What percent of the total  population "uses" the internet---70%,80%,90%? And is that "ever used" or some other definition---"sometimes use", "frequently use",etc.

    Finally, as in all of these studies, what about linearTV content seen via antennas or apps, was that included?In olden times many homes  located between large markets or in the hinterlands used tall antenna towers with no problem and current estimtes are that about 15% or more still get "linearTV"  ( broadcast TV ) reception in this manner.

    As an educated gues Iwould say that in the U.S. only about a fifth of the consumer population ades 18+ is esxclusive to streaming over the course of a reasonable period---like a month. It's not even close to 50%----not yet, at any rate.

  3. John Grono from GAP Research, July 17, 2023 at 9:11 a.m.

    Very sage comments Ed.

  4. M Cohen from marshall cohen associates, July 17, 2023 at 10:27 a.m.

    I always taught my students that when the sample from a survey is not representative, there are no data.

    The absence of a truly "random" sample makes all of these data garbage. At minimum, that fact should have been emphasized in your coverage, Joe. Thank you.

  5. Ben B from Retired replied, July 17, 2023 at 10:11 p.m.

    I agree Ed you hit the nail on the head.

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