Streaming Video Services are Taking On Cable


The numbers are in from Nielsen’s third-quarter 2014 Total Audience Report and it appears that video audiences are increasingly opting for streaming services over traditional TV. According to the report, traditional TV viewing dropped over 4% since Q3 last year; that’s a decrease of six hours per month, which is nothing to sneeze at. On the flip side, time spent viewing streaming services increased a whopping 60% to 11 hours since Q3 last year.

More time is being spent viewing video, but they are using providers and their devices to do it. In fact, all aspects of traditional TV viewing seemed to decline since last year, and digital and streaming video saw an across the boards increase in consumption.

Streaming video has seen accelerating growth (up 62% from last year for adults 25 to 54), although the traditional TV screen isn’t going away just yet; how consumers are using it is just changing. Once synonymous, the words ‘television’ and ‘cable’ are quickly disentangling from each other. “Watching TV” can now mean streaming the latest season of Game of Thrones from HBO, or using Roku to watch a favorite holiday movie.

As the report states:

“…consumer demand is not changing the appetite for quality, professionally produced content.

As the dominance of traditional linear broadcast TV comes to an end, today’s viewers expect a simple, convenient, and high-quality experience every time. This means that pay models are proliferating as well, from traditional ad-supported models to purchase, rental, and subscription for both live and video-on-demand content. For media companies, the transformation of TV presents powerful new opportunities to engage audiences and build revenue — but it also poses new challenges around content delivery, content protection, measurement, and scale.


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