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The brand new TV bundle – Nielsen

A lot has been stated in regards to the affect of streaming on the best way audiences interact with TV, however the extent is not any higher exemplified than by the habits of audiences in TV properties who don’t pay for cable or satellite tv for pc programming. A selected subset of those properties, which depend on a digital antenna free of charge, over-the-air (OTA) programming, watch probably the most broadcast programming of all U.S. TV households, however that’s beginning to change. 

The numerous quantity of broadcast TV viewing inside these properties actually isn’t stunning, provided that’s what digital antennas present entry to. However elevated connectivity and the rising abundance of over-the-top (OTT) content material is shifting the viewing habits amongst these former broadcast programming stalwarts to supply extra of a steadiness with their information and sports-heavy TV diets.

Whereas audiences in OTA properties nonetheless watch extra broadcast programming than these in broadband and cable plus1 TV households, they’re watching much less of it than they’ve up to now (1:54 per day vs. 2:25 in 2018), complementing their broadcast TV consumption with streaming video viewing. In truth, audiences in OTA properties now watch extra streaming content material than audiences in properties with cable or satellite tv for pc programming.

Maybe most fascinating amid the altering behaviors of TV audiences is the overwhelming stability of this portion of the U.S. TV family universe. Whereas the chances of broadband and cable plus households have shifted dramatically over the previous few years, the proportion of OTA properties has remained very steady. In truth, it’s really elevated.

Regardless of their broadcast-focused roots, the shifting viewing behaviors of audiences in OTA properties mirrors that of the final TV inhabitants, with streaming content material transferring to the forefront. In response to a current Nielsen TV customized survey2, 80% of audiences in OTA properties say additionally they subscribe to a streaming service. And among the many properties with entry to OTA and streaming content material, two-thirds of the viewers say they watch extra streaming content material than broadcast programming.

This shopper habits tracks with Nielsen TV panel knowledge, as the proportion of OTA properties with none extra SVOD or digital multichannel video programming distributor (vMVPD) service is steadily declining. The median age in these OTA-only properties is 61, in contrast with 45 for these with SVOD and 49 for these with SVOD and vMVPD.

Price has all the time been an element for a lot of OTA properties, and that issue can be mirrored in what they stream, as 50% of the OTA viewers in our current survey stated they watch free, ad-supported streaming companies, twice the proportion of TV viewers with different programming choices (cable, satellite tv for pc, and many others.). Amongst all TV viewers, just below 70% of OTA audiences say they spend lower than $100 every month for his or her TV programming. However when requested in regards to the options they search for most in TV service, OTA audiences rank “ad-free” and “advert skipping” on the backside of their precedence lists, presenting vital upside for model advertisers.

Regardless of the continuing evolution of TV viewing, there are two key constants:

These constants current each stability and alternative for the OTA market, given what we learn about OTA audiences: They watch extra native information (native and nationwide), sports activities and daytime TV than different audiences, and they’re rising their streaming diets. 

However all TV audiences love information and sports activities programming, which is the place the chance is for broadcasters, largely as a result of many audiences don’t know sufficient in regards to the OTA choices of their areas, or how you can entry them. Among the many audiences who stated they aren’t possible to purchase a digital antenna, 35% stated it was as a result of they don’t know what channels can be found to them. When requested non-OTA audiences how possible they’d be to purchase an antenna as soon as they knew they may watch broadcast TV with out paying a charge, 60% stated they have been considerably or very possible.


  1. Cable plus properties are these that may watch tv programming by means of a conventional cable, satellite tv for pc or telco supplier.
  2. The Nielsen TV shopper survey was performed in English-only from March 9-24, 2022, by way of an internet survey. It was primarily based on a consultant pattern of 1,500 U.S. adults 18+ who presently use any TV companies within the dwelling.

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