Live TV Audience Continues to Shrink

As marketers consider their media mix, they often allocate the  largest percentage of spending to TV. Is this strategy still valid? A study by SAY Media, which focused on TV viewing, points to the growth of a new demographic segment it calls the Off the Grid group. SAY Media believes that consumer behavior is rapidly changing and marketers must change their ad strategies to stay relevant.

According to SAY Media analysts, nearly 1 in 3 adult consumers, or about 56 million people, belong to the Off the Grid group. These previously live TV viewers are now controlling their media consumption. They decide when and where they will watch TV shows and if they will view TV ads.

One group of Off the Grid consumers, labeled On Demander by SAY Media, still watches some TV but engages in time shifting. This group exhibits the following characteristics:

  • Use both TVs and PCs to watch video: An average of 5.4 devices
  • Subscribe to Netflix: nearly 50%
  • Use video-​enabled smart devices: 40%
  • Consume significant video on a weekly basis: 30 hours
  • Attitude on advertising: Turned off by repetition/​intrusion

The second group of Off the Grid consumers, labeled Opt Out by SAY Media, may be even harder for marketers to reach because they rarely watch live TV:

  • Own a TV: 90%
  • Average age: 30% are between the ages of 18–24
  • Urban residents: 41%
  • Consume significant video on a weekly basis: 21 hours

The study findings led Matt Rosenberg, vice president of Solutions, SAY Media, to note that “[g]etting people to engage in an on-​demand world with so much fragmentation is the biggest challenge marketers face today.” The company recommends that marketers begin delivering “respectful, content-​driven advertising that lets the user be in control.” In doing so, marketers will be able to optimize attentive reach. However, the balance between that reach and the higher costs related to this strategy may slow marketer shifts in this direction.

[Source: New Research Study by SAY Media, IPG Media Lab, TRU and comScore Reveals Changing Media Consumption Trends and Behavior. SayMedia​.com. 19 Oct. 2010. Web. 26 Oct. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.