5 Reasons Why Television Remains the Master of Media

It is not unusual to hear people say that the age of TV has ended and cable subscription days are numbered. While it is true that traditional television viewing is on the decline, it would incorrect to envision a world that relies solely on smartphone technology for its entertainment needs. Stripped of conventional add-ons such as a cable subscription or scheduled linear viewing, the television still has an extensive grasp on digital media.

Streaming services, which have grown like wildfire over the past couple of years, require a source of high-reaching output. Internet powered, video and media services are expanding into the living room, providing all the essentials of a traditional television viewing experience with the addition of the internet. Rather than rage war against the millions of television sets already present in the United States, it would seem more practical that internet driven media should adopt the television instead of trying to eradicate it.

1. A majority of video viewing is done from one location

It is critical to know where and how media is being viewed. This can tell us if the population still prefers viewing media in a living room setting or on the go. A recent study from Adobe’s Digital Index Digital Video Benchmark Report  showcased an impressive amount of multimedia usage coming from one location. Over 71 percent of TV Everywhere viewers, which include select channels such as TBS, TNT, ESPN, and HBO, have been shown to access these channels from one location. This can give some validation to the assertion that people still use a base media device for all their entertainment needs. 


2.The Television still beats digital in terms of average audience per minute

The amount of time that is spent viewing videos and different programs is still dominated by the television. These viewing patterns observed did not have to come from a live broadcast or be provided by a cable network, only streamed on a television device. The Video Advertising Bureau found that viewing usage for all media, whether that be traditional or digital, was dominated by TV sets. When it comes to adults viewing video media, over 95 percent of that intake comes from a TV set, while in millennials, it accounts for a stable 88 percent. 



3.The current infrastructure is adaptable

With over 116.4 million TV homes in the United States, the amount of untapped potential for a switch to internet streaming services speaks for itself. The only thing needed is a television and an internet service provider, which a majority of users already have. It is estimated by Nielsen’s consumer and audience measurement scales that over 95.2 percent of homes with TVs in the United States have a broadband internet connection, making a transition from traditional means to internet based streaming services an ideal and quick shift. Considering the fact that traditional media use, evaluated in terms of minutes per day, has dropped significantly from 2011 to 2017, it is no wonder why streaming is at an all-time high. Emarketer has found traditional media receding from a high 453 minutes per day to 374. The opposite is true for digital media as its minutes per day have increased from a low 214 to an increasing 350 minutes per day. 



4.Streaming service giants are TV allies

Not surprisingly, Netflix tops the list of highest streaming viewership in the United States and globally. A survey of people who use TV and streaming services in the United States concluded that over 58 percent of participants said they used a streaming service on a regular basis. Netflix topped the statistics with over 40 percent usage, followed by YouTube, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. The ease in which one can obtain these services is one of the many emerging benefits of internet streaming. Taking into account the new millennial craze of binge watching, it is understandable as to why streaming is preferred more than traditional viewing. Statistics coming from GFK’s market research database shows that respondents preferred online streaming as their main source of binge viewing. Although DVR and Traditional TV racked up 22 percent and 19 percent respectively, it was no match for Streaming service, which garnered 66 percent of the vote.


5.Pirated media in the home is growing

 Ease of access is a main concern for many individuals looking for their media output. In recent years, media piracy has been on the rise and expanding into households, which favor free access over paid content. In an analysis of the top twenty piracy sites by Troy Dreier, it was found that they averaged over 7,600 visitors per month, rising by 750 each subsequent month. There have also been networks of so called Cyberlockers that provide video sharing and streaming links right in the comfort of your own home. These sites are so effective, that they are able to keep afloat using web based advertising. The only thing users need is a television and an internet bandwidth, making online piracy a growing way in which the public acquires movies, shows, music, and news for free.



MCPHERSON, DOUG. “TV Everywhere Doubles; Viewers Aren’t On-The-Go.” Response 24.10 (2016): 10. Business Source Complete. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.


“‘Tv’ Gets Redefined As Linear Viewing Declines.” Multichannel News 37.43 (2016): 17. Business Source Complete. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.


MCPHERSON, DOUG. “TV Beats Digital In Viewing, Usage; Digital Ad Spend Grows.” Response 24.8 (2016): 9. Business Source Complete. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.


Dreier, Troy. “VIDEO PIRACY How Real Is The Danger?.” Streaming Media 13.4 (2016): 18-24. Business Source Complete. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.


Nielsen Estimates 116.4 Million TV Homes in the U.S. for the 2015-16 TV Season


GfK. “Share of Tv Viewers in The United States Who Use Streaming Services on Any Device as of May 2015.” Statista – The Statistics Portal. Statista. April 2014. Web. 30 Jan 2017.


Binge viewing: devices used in the U.S. 2016 | Statistic

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One thought on “5 Reasons Why Television Remains the Master of Media

  1. I love the obvious time and research you put into the article. While I do have Netflix and Hulu, I would not say that they complete my entertainment needs without cable.

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