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!”
- 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.
- 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.”
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:
Source: Nielsen Media Research
- 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
- Read the Miner Studio findings here.
- I’m a really big fan of Will Richmond’s VideoNuze, where I discovered the Miner research.
- Listen to Richmond’s 20-minute podcast with Colin Dixon. They cover these research findings on kids, as well as the threat to our industry from exploding programming costs.
More Helpful Reading
- We covered the rise of Netflix and SVOD.
- Also, read our popular “Binge-viewing is the New Normal” report from TiVo Research.
- Plus: Discover the success secrets of a Reality TV series in our unique, multi-year Pawn Stars.
- And thanks to Ed Hersh, friend, colleague and super-consultant for sharing ideas about the Miner findings.