With the immense popularity of shows like Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” and with companies like Hulu making record deals to buy the rights to stream hugely popular TV shows, it’s clear that streaming has become a force to be reckoned with in the television industry.
But how much of an impact has streaming made among TV watchers themselves?
According to Broadcasting Cable, a new study by GfK MRI shows that 28% of all TV watching now takes place over digital streaming services.
Though this figure is impressive — considering that over one-fourth of TV watching now takes place through streaming platforms that started airing their own original programming just two years ago — there’s another statistic that’s even more surprising.
The study shows that 41% of TV watchers are what GfK MRI calls, “Digital Enthusiasts,” meaning that they pay for a traditional pay-TV service as well as three streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.
Despite the surge in popularity of streaming services over the past few years, the dominant mode of TV consumption remains live television, which accounts for 39% of all time spent with TV content, according to the study.
Christie Kawada, the Vice President of Product Management and Innovation at GfK MRI, commented on the study, noting how old-fashion TV viewing still holds a cultural significance despite the technological advancement in the industry.
“We live in a new type of video ecosystem, where online video and live TV co-exist amongst traditional cable offerings, apps, and digital streaming of live TV,” Kawada said. “These platforms are creating added demand for one another; viewers are checking out more — and different — content, and ultimately watching more. Even digitally savvy viewers still value time-honored TV experiences, like social viewing and second-screen experiences, thus keeping linear viewing strong in today’s digital world.”
While the distant future doesn’t seem to bode well for traditional TV in the hands of the millennials — who overwhelmingly prefer streaming to live television, according to a 2015 Deloitte survey — it seems that old-fashioned television is here to stay in the meantime, thanks to the 80% of Gen X’rs who cited pay TV as their most valuable service in the same survey.
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