Mobile Is Helping To Upend The Dominance Of Live TV

Americans are increasingly turning to smartphones and tablets to watch their favourite TV shows — especially millennials aged 14 to 23. 

Overall, 13 per cent of Americans watched a show weekly on their smartphones in 2012, up from 4 per cent in 2011, according to Deloitte’s new State of the Media Democracy report. Twelve per cent watched on their tablets every week, up from just 2 per cent a year prior. 

Along with other alternatives — DVR, on-demand, online streaming to other devices —mobile is helping to undercut live TV.

While live TV remains tops (and some live TV viewing is migrating to mobile), much of it is slowly being cannibalised by the alternatives. That’s bad for the “Big 4” traditional television networks, for whom live TV is beginning to become what print editions are to newspapers — a traditional profit centre undermined by digital habits. 

u.s. teen viewing habits

Now let’s take a look at younger millennials, viewers aged 14 to 23. Mobile takes an even larger share of their TV viewing time. 20-five per cent watched their favourite shows on their smartphone, while 20 per cent did so on tablets. 

In this group, live TV viewing has fallen off remarkably from 2008, although the decline appears to have leveled out recently. 

Even when they are watching live TV, 42 per cent of the millennials are always or almost always browsing the Web at the same time, according to Deloitte. 

u.s. viewing habits younger

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