Is There a Decline in TV Viewership?

Heads up advertisers -- from Netflix and Hulu to Amazon Prime and more, the online digital world is causing a great shift in TV viewers.

Traditional TV viewership has been declining consecutively for the past few years. More and more teens and millennials are spending more time viewing TV content through various online media outlets, than traditional cable or satellite.  According to, teens (ages 12-17), millennials (ages 18-34) and older millennials (ages 35-49) showed a significant decline in their weekly time spent watching TV in the first quarter of 2016.

·        Teens had a 13.3% decline year-over-year

·        Millennials had a total of 12.8 % decline year-over-year

·        Older millennials had a 2.4 % decline year-over-year

A study conducted back in July by Alan Wurtzel’s team from the research and media development department at NBC Universal, examined individuals between the ages of 18-64 who watched at least an hour of TV a week on any device. The results were astonishing.

·        67% of the participants stated they no longer watch new episodes when they air

·         86% of the participants stated that they’re more comfortable using technology to access TV Shows

·        42% of the participants preferred to time shift their viewing instead of watching the show live

Despite its’ decline in viewers, traditional TV is still a dominating medium. According to Nielsen, 226 million adults still use TV.  Additionally, from Adweek.comadults’ daily consumption of TV is up one hour from last year at 10 hours and 39 minutes. Live TV usage has continued to decline, although not as severely as in the past years. For the first quarter of 2016, there was a only a three minute decline from 2015 as compared to the 17 minute decline from 2014-2015.

                                   Courtesy of    Adweek

                                 Courtesy of Adweek

It’s possible that as time passes and technology advances, online digital TV will surpass traditional TV. About half of all U.S. TV households already have access to at least one subscription video on demand (SVOD) programming, such as Netflix and Hulu, according to Nielsen. This is the same amount of digital video recorders (DVRs) in TV households.


  Courtesy of    Emarketer

Courtesy of Emarketer

The future looks bright for online digital TV, however, the spotlight is on traditional TV to see if it stay afloat as a dominant medium. With the change in consumer behavior and taste and the benefits that online TV has to offer, traditional TV must look past vying for viewers and focus more on the changes online TV has made that have increased its’ numbers yearly. What can they do differently?

Integrated Advertising is a full service advertising agency that can help advertisers decipher and decide which type of media to buy for their product or business, whether it be standard television or something more modern like digital. Contact us at (904) 296-2585 or visit for more information on our services.