Terra Mater - Star Chasers on Senegal

Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

“Go Watch Cable TV!” How Parents Punish Kids Today

Remember “I Want My MTV!”??

It was yesterday’s battle cry for the shift to cable / satellite viewing after a generation of dominance by over-the-air broadcasters.

Consumers answered MTV’s call, bringing on new industry models, viewing preferences and popular culture.

This week, I came across a stunning research finding.

It captures the waves of change that threaten the industry created since “I Want My MTV!”

Methodology

  • Miner & Co Studio, a NYC-based firm, conducted a survey of 800 moms and dads of kids ages 2-12 who live in U.S. and watch at least some video content on a tablet and/or smartphone.

Key Findings

  • 57% of parents say their child prefers a device other than the TV to watch video content.

And here’s the big one!

  • 50% of parents say “sometimes as punishment, I take the tablet or smartphone away and she/he just watches TV instead.”

Kids-Minerva

Canary in the Miner?

  • I don’t buy the idea that the cable/satellite video distribution model is collapsing like the CD Music business did earlier in the century.
  • Cable channels enjoy long-term affiliate deals with platforms like Comcast and ATT:
    • Video is a troubling loss leader for the operators because programming costs are spiraling.
    • But video is a necessary product offer for them because the operators enjoy terrific margins from their other ‘triple play’ Internet and telephone services.
  • But here you have it: watching a cable channel is as hip for the next generation TV audience as an afternoon of “No TV for you!” was for the “I Want My MTV!” cohort.
  • For young adult and older viewers, the cultural sizzle has also moved on:
    • I haven’t overheard an office watercooler rave about a new unscripted cable show since the launch of Pawn Stars.
    • As we reported last week, the buzz is about binge-viewing scripted series.
    • And in our earlier reports, Netflix, Amazon and SVOD platforms are boomimg.
  • Meanwhile, Reality seems to be a withering genre:
    • There hasn’t been a super-hit since A&E’s yikky Duck Dynasty.
  • Many U.S. unscripted channels are dealing with a shocking loss of viewers:

rating 1Q15

Source: Nielsen Media Research

Key Takeaways

  • Channels are locked into long-term contracts with operators, so the industry will continue to buy thousands of hours of programs for the foreseeable future.
  • But the rate of change is accelerating.
  • The cab/sat model looks less ‘mature’ than ‘threatened.’

The Miner Findings

More Helpful Reading