TV audiences threaten all-time quarterly low halfway through Q1
It appears cord-cutting is as rampant and inevitable as ever, based on equities research data on network and cable TV audiences, revealed by UBS.
The Wall Street securities firm analyst John C. Hodulik explained what the numbers mean, per a report from MediaPost:
“Viewership declines have accelerated to start 2020 with Person 2+ PUT trending down 7.5% quarter-to-date vs. -6.3% in the fourth quarter of 2019, and -7.0% a year ago. […] If the trend holds, it would represent the largest quarterly decline for TV viewership in our data set.”
As the report explains, “PUT” is an acronym used by Nielsen to indicate people who use television. Overall, network broadcast delivery is slated to dip by 9.4%.
A drastic, swift & steep slip in pay TV audiences
Per the UBS data, the final quarter of 2019 took an estimated 5.4% loss in total broadcasts. That pales in comparison to the projected 14.8% drop in this year’s opening quarter.
The total cable network delivery isn’t as catastrophic for people still clinging to their traditional tubes. Nevertheless, the step down from a 12.1% Q4 decline to prospective 14.5% drop-off isn’t moving in the right direction.
Now, read on for a little knee-jerk speculation. Just bear with, please.
NBC’s Peacock streaming service debuts in April for select customers. HBO Max fully launching in May. With these brand-new platforms hitting the OTT market, could the UBS forecasts actually be overly optimistic with these declining figures?
It ain’t just the millennial clan
In addition to the 25-34 age demographic continuing to precipitously decline, 2020 Q1 would also mark the first time people aged 55 and older would experience a dip.
Thus, the younger generation isn’t the only group straying away from pay TV. It seems even more senior citizens are following suit, albeit on a smaller scale at 2%, compared to the 25-34’s drop of 17%.
There tends to be resistance to technology or new media in later generations. However, it’s increasingly apparent how convenient cord-cutting is. How’s that for a trickle-down effect?
With how rapidly technology is advancing in the modern era, it makes no sense to stay stuck to bloated cable TV contracts. Why inconvenience oneself?
Between streaming platforms and live TV services, home entertainment is changing forever. We know it’s coming. This data is added proof.