The way in which we consume TV is changing rapidly – and has been for the past six decades. Today we have more screens, more connections, and more options than ever before, and there’s no sign that the evolution is slowing down.
In a new infographic released this week, we examine the evolving nature of TV consumption from the 1940s up until present day. In doing so, several key themes emerge:
- First, TV today truly is everywhere. In the 1940s, there are only 4 television stations, while today, the options for content are seemingly endless, with cable, subscription-based channels, and streaming grabbing more viewers from the broadcast channels every year. Young adults now spend 39% of their TV time streaming content and only 29% of it on live programming.
- Second, it’s not just about TV anymore. In the early decades represented in the infographic, TV viewing is a family activity. In contrast, as we move into the 2000’s, TV starts competing for attention with computers and mobile devices, as we see that 87% of consumers now use a second-screen device while watching TV.
- Finally, the infographic highlights the fragmentation of audience viewing, as top shows are listed for each decade, along with their respective Nielsen ratings. In the 1950’s, TV’s most popular shows were watched by over 2/3 of US households; in comparison, today’s top-rated programs usually don’t even hit the 10% mark. This brings to life the importance of digital video advertising to fill in the gaps where TV can no longer reach an advertiser’s audience.
You can also learn more about the latest advances in data-enabled TV over at our Videology Knowledge Lab.