The days of traditional live today (cable, satellite, traditional television networks) as the primary method for which persons watch television has happened:
The below chart compares viewers' default choice for video viewing and the changes in 2020 compared to 2019. While a small shift, its an important one, and likely permanent change:
We've reached the tipping point!
It was bound to happen eventually as the popularity of the various streaming services has continued to grow. Based on a study from Hub Entertainment Research which surveyed 1,600 persons between the ages of 16 and 74, a majority of respondents now say that online is their first source they turn on when viewing TV.
The implications of this are somewhat obvious:
Digital video must now be considered as a part of an advertising campaign that years ago may have only included TV or cable.
Local or spot options for streaming or 'over-the-top' video streaming are still limited, and video campaigns may have to supplanted with offerings from traditional providers like Xfinity.
While Netflix (a subscription service without ads) is still the leading choice for streaming video content, others are closing the gap- particularly those with options or primarily being ad supported (Hulu, and potentially Amazon Prime, in addition to smaller platforms like Pluto or Crackle). For advertisers, this is something that should be closely watched.
So the next time you have a TV campaign, rather than calling your local TV representative, you may be opening a browser window to set up your ad campaign.