Streaming Viewers Overtaking Linear and Cable TV

Watching connected tv on a smartphone

The landscape of television viewership in America is undergoing a radical transformation. Wireless TV, generally defined as television streaming through the internet, has been taking off and is on track to become the primary form of TV watching in the next year.

Linear Television Viewership Declining

According to the fourth Future of TV survey of more than 4,000 US adults by The Trade Desk (Nasdaq: TTD), wireless TV consumers are on the rise and are projected to overtake linear and cable television soon. The survey reveals that nearly half of the TV viewers in the US are already cordless (47 percent), and another 44 percent of US citizens with cable TV are looking to cut back or cancel their service in the upcoming year.

Why Is Linear TV Losing Popularity?

Streaming or Connected TV offers several advantages over cable and linear TV mediums. For one, wireless TV viewers are no longer tethered to TV schedules and can binge-watch their favorite programs and films on demand. Furthermore, wireless TV viewers can save additional money, as they pay only for the services they choose, rather than being stuck in a bundle that includes a host of channels they have never watched.

“We are entering a new TV normal, where new streaming viewing models sit side by side with traditional TV formats,” said Tim Sims, Chief Revenue Officer, The Trade Desk. “From an advertiser’s perspective, this shift presents a tremendous opportunity. They can reach those streaming TV viewers with more precision and accuracy than ever because they can apply data to those TV campaigns in a way that’s not possible with linear. So, it provides incremental reach that’s an important element of a comprehensive TV ad campaign.”

Streaming technology's rapid adoption and improvement is the other major factor driving the growth of cordless viewers. Streaming services now offer quality video to users in a fraction of the time it used to take, with picture quality now rivaling cable and satellite programming. So viewers no longer have to wait for buffering or experience low-quality visuals, allowing them easy access to the same content without a cable or satellite subscription.

CTV Advertising Is Essential to Reach Nearly Half of Cordless Viewing Audiences

So, streaming digital content is now a more convenient and cost-effective way to watch TV than linear or cable television. With an extensive online content library, live channels, and many free and low-cost providers, wireless TV is quickly becoming the preferred choice for many viewers. As a result, within the coming year, streaming TV is projected to become the dominant form of television in the United States. Therefore, brands not advertising on streaming television platforms, not reaching nearly half the US television audience, no longer consume content on linear, cable, or satellite television networks.

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