Last night, I dropped a link on this site and espoused some of my beliefs that the current generation growing up will drop out of the TV scene much prior to the next one. . the link on the ‘cord cutting’ actually came from TIME magazine.. However, a reader comment on the situation offered a very different and good perspective on the potential other side of the coin.. Since it was buried at the bottom of the site and few may have seen it, I’d like to share it in full, as it offers up a counter argument to the believe that Millennials are ready to abandon their TV sets altogether:
It’s important to put this in perspective. The industry does a really good job of hyping reports and headlines based on a single, biased view. If we were to describe “millenials” as the age group of 18-34 from the inception of cable TV in the early 80s, things really don’t look that different. People don’t make primary choices about TV services until they have their own homes. The median age of first-time home buyers has gone up considerably just in the last 10 years alone. Until you are making a primary decision about TV service (not living with mom and dad, in a dorm or with several roommates), you are just making do (i.e., watching video online). SNL is not irrelevant. People are just choosing to record it and watch it later, not live. Nielsen, the author of this report, does not have the capacity to measure this.
Since the inception of the VCR, live TV viewing has declined. When operators introduced DVRs into consumer homes, live TV viewing declined even more. A couple of years ago, DVR penetration among pay-TV subscribers was only about 40%. Throughout 2013 and 2014, due to much lower manufacturing costs and a hefty drop in the global price of chip sets and memory, operators have been able to put a lot more DVR set-top boxes in homes at a much lower price to subscribers. So what happens? Again, live TV viewing declines even more. This is not to say that people are watching less TV, they are just watching it on demand from their DVR. The popularity of broadcast TV programming has never been higher. People are just not watching it “live”.
And that all makes sense.
It does not shake my perspective though that SNL is irrelevant..I base that a bit simply on the humor or lack thereof that often comes from the show. But there may be other shows that are quite relevant, perhaps being recorded later.. Which changes the game altogether for Neilson and advertisers.
No matter how you look at it, the pop culture world has changed.