UH OH: New Nielsen Data Suggest People Aren't Watching TV Anymore

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Photo: x-ray delta one / Flickr, CC

A new report from Nielsen, the TV audience ratings and measurement people, shows that the number of people who watched TV at least once per month—a pretty low bar—declined from 90 per cent of the population to 83 per cent last year.Proportionately, that means TV lost 8.5 per cent of its audience in 2011. As many as 17 per cent of people never watch TV, the survey of 28,000 consumers in 56 countries.

That’s a staggering loss of interest in a medium that in industrialized nations is regarded as a standard like electricity or hot running water.

The number of people watching video on a computer at least once per month is now higher, at 84 per cent, than those watching TV.

The data is self-reported by 500 online consumers in each country so it doesn’t represent actual behaviour. Rather, it’s more a measure of consumer sentiment.

More people watch video on computers once a day than watch TV once a day.

More people watch video on computers at least once a month than watch TV once a month.

A majority of people have broadband internet access; but only a minority own hi-def TVs. Computers are killing TVs, in other words.

Cable TV ratings are in decline, according to Citi.

Cable TV subscribers are also in decline, according to data from ISI Group. (These numbers are expressed in thousands.)

The decline comes despite broadband subscriptions as a whole increasing. Those subs, however, are going to telco companies—not TV companies.

Now see how the real estate market affects TV subscriber numbers ...

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