Online media consumption is up, and TV is down. Is this the beginning of the end for the broadcast television industry?
According to CNet’s Joan E. Solsman, digital media consumption is poised to overtake TV viewing this year. Solsman cites an eMarketer study predicting that “Americans will watch more online and mobile media than television this year for the first time.”
Per eMarketer, “the average adult will spend over 5 hours per day online…compared to 4 hours and 31 minutes of watching television. Daily TV time will actually be down slightly this year, while digital media consumption will be up 15.8%.”
Mobile devices are helping to move the dial away from TV, with adults spending almost an hour more per day in non-voice mobile activities than in 2012.
The story sounds oddly similar to the predictions being made about the rise in digital magazine consumption heralding print’s imminent demise.
Is this the beginning of the “TV is dead” mantra?
Not likely. While digital consumption is rising, television viewing has slipped less than 3%. As Solsman explains, “while people are turning more to digital media options, they aren’t necessarily turning away from the traditional means of watching TV and movies.”
The digital consumption is an add-on, not a minute-for-minute take-away. And, as in the print industry, the percentages don’t always tell the whole story when you consider the relative size of the slice of pie. Still, as more households “cut the cord” and join the 5% or homes that make up the so-called Zero TV households, the television industry needs to pay attention and evolve their offerings to stay relevant and engaging enough for their viewers to care.
Print publishers have been dealing with this challenge for a while now. And traditional print readership is expected to grow in 2013 despite the “print is dead” drumbeat and the continued growth of digital magazine consumption.
Dead? Not yet, Jim. Not even close.