Americans are watching a ton of television- but they are moving quickly to online streaming and smartphones according to a new report from Nielsen. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Americans are watching a ton of television programs, but fewer are watching them on a television. Online streaming is the new viewing medium, surging 60 percent this past quarter compared to a year ago, says a new report from Nielsen. Supersized smartphones helping drive eyeballs there. That was up about 25 percent. Traditional live TV? Still big at more than 4 hours a day - but falling close to 4 percent. This trend could be very concerning to the big media players. S&P Capital IQ's Tuna Amobi: SOUNDBITE: TUNA AMOBI, SENIOR MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT ANALYST, S&P CAPITAL IQ (ENGLISH) SAYING: "If this scenario continues then you have to wonder how much the networks are going to be able to continue to make up these potential shortfall in advertising revenues as well as even traditional syndication revenues. These are all multi-billion dollar industries which could be potentially at risk as more and more consumers gravitate to online video you now cord cutting etc." That cord cutting is slicing the profits of pay TV. Nielsen says that group lost more than 2 million customers - and no surprise here - ratings continue to fall. And it is still unclear if the money they make licensing content to streaming services like Netflix - is enough to make up for what they lose on advertising. This past year's upfronts - which is when the TV networks try to sell their ads ahead of time, was very weak. Media companies are now scrambling to re-imagine their advertising models: SOUNDBITE: TUNA AMOBI, SENIOR MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT ANALYST, S&P CAPITAL IQ (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think what it's going to do is to you now is put more pressure on you know the traditional media companies to leverage the digital advances in technology to be able to harness this changing viewing habits over for example addressable advertising is one area that we think is going to be profoundly reshaped as well as programmatic buying as you indicated. There is more and more effort to kind of leverage data on video consumption and monetize that in order to be able to mitigate the declines." Nielsen recently said it's going to measure shows on streaming services like Netflix and Amazon prime - which don't sell ads - but now matter in how others value content.