The Death of Linear TV

Miles Weaver
Miles Weaver Marketing Director

The annual Decoding The Default study, from Hub Entertainment which tracks the TV sources that consumers consider to be their first choices for viewing shows that the continual shift to multi-platform viewing at the expense of live TV is continuing unabated.

The survey found that 39% of viewers say that traditional, linear TV from traditional pay-TV service providers is where they look to for content first, and are far more likely – to the tune of 48% – to turn to On Demand services like Netflix or Amazon, as well as pay-TV VOD and timeshifted DVR viewing

One of the most interesting reveals is that live TV viewing is falling even amongst older viewers, who have long been considered linear’s core demographic and last bulwark against the OTT revolution. A majority of viewers aged 55+ view live TV as their go-to choice for viewing (56%) in in 2018, in last year’s survey this number was closer to 66%. Similarly, 18-34 year olds watching live TV has declined from 35% to 26% in the space of a year.

It thus becomes imperative for those content owners and broadcasters to deploy digital services where they can reach and engage with their audience directly, no matter the device they’re on. The survey demonstrated that the average consumer now has 4.5 sources of content to choose from when they want to watch TV, including linear TV, pay-TV VOD, OTT services or DVR.

What this survey clearly shows is that content owners and broadcasters can no longer rely purely on traditional routes to reach their viewers – even the traditional demographics that many have always expected to be loyal to linear viewing – because, quite simply, their viewers increasingly aren’t there any more. The tide has turned, and the end of mainstream linear TV for many content types might happen sooner than we thought.

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Miles Weaver

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Miles Weaver Marketing Director
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