For nearly a decade, our conception of television has been changing. Internet-connected TVs ushered online content and downloadable apps into the living room, while traditional TV programming now follows us on the road, as people enjoy their favorite shows from the convenience of their smartphone.
TV is in the midst of a technological revolution and has gone beyond the television set. It’s expanding into this idea of Total Video, a phenomenon that spans all screens and all streams, where consumers are able to access content anytime, anywhere, on any device. For example, if someone says they’re going to stay in and watch TV, they may be watching Netflix on their iPad.
Total Video gives consumers more control over their experience. With more ways to consume video content than ever before, the definition of TV has never been more ambiguous. Unsurprisingly, the primary driver of this shift is the internet. Rapid advancements in broadband and mobile networks have catalyzed new viewing habits. The entrance of subscription video on demand (SVOD) platforms like Netflix, and virtual multichannel video programming distributors (vMVPDs) like fuboTV, enable audiences to consume content in new ways, within and away from the traditional living room setting.
Amidst this new on-demand reality, old-school linear TV often gets a bad rap. However, contrary to what you may have heard, live viewership isn’t going anywhere. While Deloitte Global notes in their 2018 predictions that linear viewing will likely taper 5-15% among 18 to 24-year-olds, the category as a whole remains a cornerstone of daily consumption behavior.
According to a recent report from Eurodata TV Worldwide, the global daily average for TV viewership clocked in at nearly three hours per person, with wide variations across continents. Linear TV is particularly strong in the US and North America, compared to countries across the Asia-Pacific region.
Average individual TV viewing time:
- North America: 4 hours and 3 minutes
- Europe: 3 hours and 49 minutes
- Asia: 2 hours and 25 minutes
Even though there are more ways than ever to watch video, these numbers show that audiences still love linear TV and are far from abandoning traditional live programming. Part of linear TV’s enduring appeal is its ability to facilitate a communal experience, a tradition that harkens back to families gathered around the living room radio. There’s something special about joining friends and family for a live broadcast, or favorite TV program. Despite the on-demand nature of digital, people aren’t going to watch the World Cup final a week after the fact, or throw a party for the Game of Thrones season premiere on a Tuesday evening when it first aired on Sunday. As such, while digital TV is certainly on the rise, we are far from the death of linear. Marketers cannot ignore one in favor of the other, and the future of TV advertising will be finding the ideal blend of both.
Interested in learning more? Come back next week to learn more about how rapid developments in fixed and mobile broadband have reshaped our definition of TV, or download the Global TV and Video Trends white paper now!