A flood of stories this week show how TV is dying and video is on the rise. You think changing audience behavior is tough on arts organizations? Try it when you’re a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate like NBCUniversal Comcast or Verizon.
- Olympics TV ratings were down 18% from 2012. NBC had paid $1.23 billion for rights to the broadcast
- MTV Video Awards ratings this week fell 30 percent from last year
Streaming was way up for both events, doubling for the Olympics, and up a bit for the MTV awards. But networks make their money on broadcast ads, and digital revenue stream is still small by comparison. And pay-per-view streaming has not caught on. A report last week said that more than two-thirds of viewers have never paid for digital videos (remember when people used to pay to rent DVDs and VHS tapes?). Worse – a new report out today says that more than 800,000 customers quit pay cable TV in the most recent quarter, accelerating the trend.
So people are getting video elsewhere. David Sillito reports for the BBC that live TV viewing is down 30% in the past two years. But video-watching is up. And alarmingly, the sources for TV news are changing. He reports that “mainstream news” is on the outs and the new giants of web video news bear very little resemblance to traditional journalism. They’re partisan, scrappy, and often factually wrong. Want to see where Donald Trump gets his talking points, asks Sillito? Here it is. Watch and be afraid. [Sorry – the video isn’t embeddable. Click the image to see it]