Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Traditional TV Viewing Drops 4%

First and foremost, television is not dead.  It may have matured quite a bit, but opportunities still abound for those companies that see growth.  Still, the news out of Nielsen, from today's Wall Street Journal, is that "traditional television dropped nearly 4% last quarter, as online video streaming jumped 60%, according to a new report from Nielsen, crystallizing a trend for TV-channel owners amid ratings declines."  Expect that percentage to continue to drop. 

The simple truth is that there is only 24 hours in a day and the rise of new media means that old media must lose some usage as users aggregate to the new trends.  Print is feeling that effect from digital, radio felt it from broadcast and broadcast from cable.  Online viewing will simply take from those platforms.  But television, and the people that control them, can still drive success and growth. 

The notion of authenticated TV Everywhere with the cable operator bridging the gap of the cable box in the home with online access anywhere and everywhere still makes sense.  It enables customization, personalization, recommendation, and ultimately owns and tracks the viewer regardless of the device used to view the media on.  That consolidation and convergence creates an advanced advertising approach and data collection so valuable these days.  But until cable operators fully envelop the consumer in this bubble, consumers will find entertainment outside the cable box with other content and other OTT platforms. 

A 4% drop in traditional TV viewing is not the death of traditional TV.  Hopefully, it is a real wake up call to once again purse a TV Everywhere strategy.  Slingbox offers the technological tools to do it.  TiVo may as well.  Cable operators need to push it further and market the TV Everywhere value that they can one day deliver.