This post is part of a series on how streaming media fits into today’s media landscape. For the whole story, read our Insight paper about streaming media.
How does streaming affect TV viewership?
The short answer is that streaming media is significantly reducing the amount of time viewers spend on broadcast television. (Streaming’s effect on disc viewership is less clear–more on that in coming weeks.)
First we have to define some terms. “TV” can refer to a large device for displaying media, a type of content developed for that device, or a service in which that content is sent over the airwaves to TV sets. The difference is important if you want an understanding of how streaming is disrupting the media landscape.
The TV device is not going anywhere soon. Despite the proliferation of screens that people use to consume video, 63% still think that the biggest screen is always best. And, across all demographics, the majority of respondents still watch video programming on TV:
As a content type, too, TV programs are flourishing. Despite changing viewership practices, traditional TV networks as well as newer streaming services are continuing to produce content in the form of TV shows–hour or half hour episodes strung together into a series that may last multiple seasons. The stunning success of TV shows produced by streaming services such as Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” speaks to the dominance of this genre.
Television networks are no longer the sole source of short-form media, as content providers now differentiate their services and avoid expensive digital rights expenses by offering original content accessible only to their respective subscribers. In addition to seasonal series, streaming services and others offering exclusive content are developing films, documentaries, and features like comedy and news specials.