Tag Archives: streaming

Nielsen: Audiences are Moving Away From Traditional TV


Nielsen has a lump of coal for the Christmas stockings of each network: it released new data today showing that consumers are continuing to move away from traditional TV viewing in favor of increased time-shifting, streaming video and sites like Netflix.

In its latest quarterly Total Audience Report, which examines viewing statistics among US audiences in the third quarter, Nielsen revealed that the average adult now spends 141:19 (all times in hours: minutes) per month watching traditional TV, down 5:42 from Q3 last year (147:01). Meanwhile, the time spent watching time-shifted TV has increased to 14:20, from 13:12 last year.

“While we are not seeing a departure from media content consumption, we do see a shift in consumer behavior and today we see a resounding growth in consumption on digital platforms,” wrote Dounia Turrill, Nielsen’s senior vice president of insights.

But the biggest growth in the past year was Internet video viewing, a category which includes Netflix and YouTube. That jumped just over four minutes per month, to 10:42 (from 6:41 in Q3 2013). Video consumption via smartphone was on the rise as well, increasing 21 minutes per month to 1:46 (from last year’s 1:25).

Nielsen also broke down how the average adult spends their day (all times in hours: minutes).

Total_Audience-Report Q3 2014

In total, adults now spend 10:50 per day engaging with some kind of media, up from 10:28 in Q3 2013 and 10:20 in Q3 2012. In other words, if you make the content, we will make the time to consume it.

Combined with this summer’s revelations about how we watch TV now and how we watch TV on the internet, these Nielsen statistics are the latest evidence of how rapidly our viewing habits have shifted.

“The growing penetration of new devices and the popularity of subscription- based streaming services, time-shifted and over-the-top viewing — as well as cord-cutting and cord shaving — are fundamentally changing the TV industry,” wrote Turrill.

So much, in fact, that Nielsen can’t keep up. “Media companies, digital players and measurement are at a crossroad,” wrote Turrill. “Content remains king and consumers are steering their own content discovery experience.”

Forget beating HBO: Netflix just revealed it has much bigger goals in mind


I was very surprised by the announcement late Friday night that Netflix had acquired NBC’s midseason comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, one of the NBC shows I was most looking forward to this season. Two days earlier, it had picked up the high-rated but old-skewing Longmire, which A&E had canceled after three seasons. In my Quartz analysis, I noted,

Gone are the days where Netflix tried to make a splash with programming you couldn’t find anywhere else on TV, most notably Orange is the New Black. While cable networks like USA and AMC are trying to save themselves by retrenching and focusing on what they do best, Netflix is taking the opposite approach: it wants to be everything to everyone.

For years, Netflix had said its goal was “to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.” But now, it has even loftier ambitions: it wants to be all things to all people.

Forget beating HBO: Netflix just revealed it has much bigger goals in mind

Disney is Using Star Wars to Drive People to Its Streaming Apps

disney star wars streaming apps

As Disney prepares to unveil its first original content from the Star Wars Universe since buying Lucasfilm in 2012, it’s doing so via its three Disney Channel streaming apps, as I wrote at Quartz.

“It’s critical for us to make sure we’re on the platforms the kids are consuming content on. And we’re learning, the size of the screen doesn’t really matter, it’s the content that matters most,” Lauren DeVillier, Vice President of Digital Media at Disney Channels Worldwide, told Quartz. “There’s a lot of repeat viewing with kids content; they’ll watch the same episode a thousand times. So especially with that audience, it’s an opportunity to be on the platforms they’re on.”

While the Disney streaming apps are getting more popular each year, 94 percent of the Disney Channel audience still watch via live TV or DVR.

Disney is using Star Wars to drive people to its streaming apps

Charts: How We Watch TV on the Internet

how we watch tv on the internet

TCA summer press tour ended more than a week ago, but there was still one story left for me to finish up (along with several others that I’ve banked for the fall): this companion piece to my earlier look at how we watch TV now. For this story, I delved into the ratings data from a separate press tour briefing given by Alan Wurtzel, NBC’s head of research and media development, about how audiences are using their smartphones, tablets and personal computers to watch and download TV content.

This isn’t just about “a bunch of 25-year-olds who wear black and live in Williamsburg. It affects everybody across the country,” said Wurtzel, who shared NBCUniversal’s data with Quartz. “One size no longer fits all.”

As with my previous data-heavy story, I urge you to read the whole thing; there’s just too much great info for me to attempt to summarize it here. But I’ll wrap up with another observation from Wurtzel.

And as viewers stream in greater numbers, especially on their mobile devices, these seismic shifts will only continue. “These changes are very real,” said Wurtzel. “They’re growing unbelievably fast, and they affect the core of our business.”

Charts: How we watch TV on the internet

Charts: How We Watch TV Now

how we watch tv now

Hundreds of reporters have assembled at TCA summer press tour, but as far as I’m aware, I’m the only one who wrote a detailed story about the fascinating panel with CBS, FX, Fox and Showtime’s research gurus, who talked about how audiences actually watch TV now.

“We’re in a new era of television,” said David Poltrack, chief research officer for CBS, noting that weekly TV viewing has increased 2% over the last three years, from 35 hours and 36 minutes to 37 hours and 50 minutes. “This is a golden era of television content, and the public is embracing television and engaging with television in a way that they never did before, because it is so much good programming.”

While I usually try to summarize my stories a bit here, there’s so much terrific information throughout the piece about delayed viewing lifts and multi-platform audiences that I urge you to read the whole thing yourself.

Charts: How we watch TV now

Not Even Those Who Run Netflix Shows Know How Popular They Really Are

not even those who run Netflix

This is crazy to me. We’ve all known for years that Netflix has stubbornly refused to release any ratings information on its shows. Now, I wrote at Quartz, it turns out that not even the people who make Netflix’s most popular (we think) shows have any idea how many viewers actually watch their programming.

“It’s like, ‘I’m a hit —I think,’” Orange is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan told The Hollywood Reporter. The lack of viewership metrics from Netflix “makes it hard to negotiate later,” she says, referring to the standing industry practice in which the stars and producers of hits shows leverage ratings success for significant raises in a show’s third or fourth season.

I also wrote about Netflix’s excuses for withholding that data — and why they don’t hold water.

Not even those who run Netflix shows know how popular they really are 

How Apple Can Make Its Streaming Service Better Than Netflix

apple streaming service

Last night, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is in talks with Comcast to team up for a new streaming-television service that would use an Apple set-top box. At Quartz, I suggested four ways that Apple could make a splash and make its new service instantly better than Netflix. For starters, Use the Force:

In 2010, Apple finally landed exclusive digital rights to the Beatles catalog. Now, it should aggressively pursue the holy grail of exclusive movie digital rights: the Star Wars films, which still have yet to be released via any digital platform. (Remember, Lucasfilm is now owned by Disney, whose chairman and CEO, Bob Iger, sits on Apple’s Board of Directors.) Using the films to launch Apple’s streaming service, especially as anticipation builds toward the next Star Wars film, due out in December 2015, would be reason enough for many viewers to immediately get on board.

Assuming Apple goes ahead with the service, it needs to once again embrace its traditional role of innovator, not follower.

How Apple can make its streaming service better than Netflix

Six Ways TV is Changing Forever


TCA winter tour is finally winding down, but I wanted to write one last story about the various developments and announcements that I hadn’t been able to address in standalone stories. So for my final Quartz story from TCA, I noted six ways that TV is changing forever, including my observation that pilot season isn’t dead — yet:

Last week, FOX announced the death of pilot season, with Reilly explaining that “it’s highly inefficient” and “built for a different era” when CBS, ABC and NBC were the only three networks in existence. Instead, Reilly has already picked up several projects “straight to series” for next season, bypassing the usual pilot process so as not to waste resources on projects that will never make it to air.

Yet the other networks were quick to declare that while the business is indeed changing, pilot season is still very useful for them. “It’s frustrating, but also exciting,” said CBS’s Tassler, who noted that pilot season’s “compression of time”—in which pilots are cast, shot and focus-tested in a matter of weeks—gives way to “this creative adrenaline” that has delivered their biggest hits, like The Big Bang Theory. NBC’s Greenblatt noted that his network’s new hit The Blacklist “probably would never have seen the air had we not made a pilot, because it came from a relatively young, inexperienced writer. We weren’t exactly sure immediately from that script that we should order a series.”

Farewell, Pasadena!

Six ways TV is changing forever

Soon You Can (Legally) Stream ‘The Simpsons’—but There’s a Catch

soon you can stream the simpsons

Woo hoo! At TCA winter press tour, FX Networks announced that it will create a Simpsons app within its FXNOW streaming app that will finally allow fans to stream all 530 episodes of The Simpsons. FX Networks CEO John Landgraf shared more details with me for this Quartz article:

The Simpsons content will be curated in a separate app, which Landgraf said will be “integrated with and linked through” the FXNOW app. The Simpsons app will contain a multitude of Simpsons clips as well as full episodes (all 530 episodes will be available at all times, not cycled through at various intervals), all of which will “be infinitely cross-referenced and sortable and searchable in various different ways,” Landgraf said.

Landgraf also detailed the app’s big catch, which involves authenticated subscribers, and also talks about FXX’s continued search for its own identity apart from sibling FX.

Soon you can (legally) stream the Simpsons—but there’s a catch

NBC Just Bought a Network to Cash in on Toddlers and Tablets


In my latest piece for Quartz, I looked at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s acquisition of preschool network Sprout, and focused on one key area that the company will be looking to improve: Sprout’s paltry streaming app.

While Sprout reaches 60 million homes and boasts 1.5 billion on-demand views since its 2005 launch, its app numbers are less impressive. Sprout’s app, launched in March 2012, has been downloaded 1.5 million times. Meanwhile, the Watch Disney Junior app, which Disney debuted in June 2012, has already been downloaded 5 million times, generating more than 650 million video views. Nickelodeon, which introduced a new app for its flagship network in February,plans to roll out a Nick Jr. app for preschoolers next spring.

However NBCUniversal decides to overhaul Sprout’s app, it had better do it quick: many kids, mine including, have abandoned it completely.

NBC just bought a network to cash in on toddlers and tablets