Report: Live TV Viewing Dropping in Popularity

Increasing numbers of consumers are shying away from live linear television as their default home entertainment choice.

Less than 40% of consumers in a survey now opt for live TV as their first option, according to new data from Hub Entertainment Research. That compared to 47% of respondents during a previous-year survey.

While alternative channels such as over-the-top video have appealed to younger consumers for some time, Hub found that the trend is moving to older viewers as well.

While most (56%) of respondents 55 and older still prefer live TV, that percentage has dropped from 66% last year. Among the 18-34 demo, just 26% watch live TV is their first entertainment choice – compared to 35% a year ago.

“We’ve been watching live TV drop steadily as a default source since we first conducted this study in 2013,” Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub, said in the report. “But this is the first year where we’ve seen a sharp drop among older consumers, which has huge implications for the monetization of linear TV in general.”

The report attributes ongoing declines in live TV consumption due to SVOD service such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. Indeed, the average consumer now has more than four options to watch TV content, including VOD, DVR, live, OTT – compared to slightly more than three options in 2014.

Among younger viewers, the number of TV viewing options tops five as at least 50% of viewers subscribe to two or more SVOD services.

That’s quite a switch from just four years ago when 45% of respondents said they preferred watching live TV, with 14% opting for SVOD as their first entertainment choice.

“As online, on-demand platforms continue to become mainstream, live viewing has become the exception rather than the rule,” Fondulas said.

 

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