A major milestone was reached last month when Nielsen reported that viewing on “Cable and Broadcast” channels had dropped to less than half of all television usage. This is another milestone in the slow decline of Cable and Broadcast TV with its former dominant market share gobbled up by Streaming.
Viewing of Broadcast TV programming is down 5.4% from last year, with Cable down by a remarkable 12.5% in the same period. The Streamers’ share of viewing has increased 25.3% year-over-year, with Netflix making up a large portion of the increase, fueled by the popularity of programs such as SUITS.
The series premiered in 2011 on the USA network and has attained newfound popularity this year with 18 billion viewing minutes in the month of July alone. To put this into perspective, these are the same viewership levels achieved by the wildly popular STRANGER THINGS last July.
While some of the reason for a decline in Cable and Broadcast’s share of viewing is due to a gap in major sporting events in July, it is clear that permanent changes are taking place in viewing patterns. These trends are forcing media CEOs to consider taking radical steps, such as Disney’s Bob Iger discussing openly the possible sale of its traditional TV networks and cable properties including ABC, National Geographic, and FX.
For a long time, many have viewed Streaming as being in competition with movie theatres and theatrical distribution. However, it has since become apparent that streaming is taking a bigger bite out of the traditional Cable and Broadcast business.