In Prime-Time Ratings Bring Speculation of a Shift in Habits, Bill Carter documents declines in prime-time programming viewership in the key 18-49 age demographic (both network and cable viewership). In the four weeks after March 19:
- NBC lost 3%
- CBS lost 8%
- ABC lost 21%
- Fox lost 20%
At the same time, playback of prerecorded shows is growing, and on the aggregate would amount to the second-highest rated show on television.
Former head of entertainment at NBC, Jeff Gaspin, thinks we have reached a “tipping point in how people are going to watch shows.”
If he’s right, the implications could be positive for smaller advertisers. I expect the following events to converge:
- People learn a new behavior (watching TV from pre-recorded libraries)
- Continued rapid adoption of “Smart” TVs (a TV experience highly integrated with the Internet)
- More content creators bi-pass the traditional TV network model to serve television shows directly to end-users so they can watch what they want, when they want it, on any device
- Digital advertising networks (like Google and perhaps Facebook) will make it increasingly easy and profitable for smaller advertisers to target the right customers while they watch TV
What do you think?