27 June 2013 | Blog
In a USA TouchPoints analysis recently published on MediaPost, NBC Nightly News was used to get a picture of how viewers are using different platforms before, during, and after the program during a normal week.
Obviously there’s some pro-TV bias here; network evening news is about as old-school TV as one can get. Of course its viewers would skew towards traditional viewing patterns. But in all the fuss over cord-cutters replacing their TV with social media and streaming video, it’s worth noting the magnitudes involved.
The diagram looks as if it skews a bit towards live TV, until you look at it closely and realize that they’ve broken the live TV lines just to make them fit in the same frame. Reach during the program for digital video was 3; for live TV, reach averaged to 94. As the article notes, “[a]lthough this is a cross-platform story, in terms of average reach across the week, this is very much about TV.”
The article goes on to say that while the sheer size and dominance of the medium, and the fact that the analysis is centered around viewers of a particular program, makes this inevitable, the extent to which TV—especially when combining live and other viewing in the form of DVR, VOD etc.—so completely outperforms other media in terms of reach is perhaps more surprising.
In reality, it’s not that surprising.
Digital media is exciting, and generating lots of press. And everyone likes a good David-and-Goliath story, so we’re repeatedly subjected to rounds of “Traditional TV is dead!” The fact of the matter is that traditional TV is still a pretty healthy-looking giant. With unbeatable reach and even more time spent watching during 2013 (as reported by Nielsen, via Broadcasting & Cable), the fact that traditional linear TV is going strong can scarcely be considered news.