Broadcast and Cable Numbers Keep Falling As Digital Rolls On


Recently released marketing data has discovered that broadcast and cable TV numbers are down while their digital rivals continue to experience unprecedented growth. The total number of originally written TV shows on both broadcast and cable has gone down for the first year since such numbers began being tracked back in 2009.

While broadcast and digital remain steady at 455 original shows or series, the numbers have been exploding for digital which has shown an increase to a total of 93 such shows. The uptick in the digital numbers are due to such on demand video players as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Crackle, and Hulu doubling their output of new offerings.

Much of the rise in the digital on demand players is from the continuous investment they have been making to produce original content and programming in an effort to rival the broadcast and cable networks. Netflix will reportedly spend around $5 billion on original content for 2016 and that means it comes in a close second to ESPN which looks to spend $7.3 billion this past year. Amazon looks to invest $3.2 billion while CBS comes in with $4 billion and NBC looks to invest $4.3 billion this year.

While Amazon as well as Netflix looks to keep up the spending, Netflix has reported that they will look to spend around $6 billion in 2017 developing original content. Amazon looks to triple its investment for the coming year. According to Nielsen, American TV watchers view less channels this year than in the past. The average American watched an average of 19.8 different channels this past year. That was down from a measured 20.9 back in 2014. This has been the first decrease in viewing in the last eight years.

While subscription video on demand has been growing steadily, its rate of growth has been slowed somewhat of late due to many niche players offering original offerings and content with live streaming. Current research and analysis states that digital content is set to really begin a growth spurt over the next several years due mostly to people shifting more and more to mobile devices as well as the expansion of broadband technology and services.

Mr. Sawyer is a freelance writer, editor and journalist from Tampa. He has written thousands of articles for hundreds of magazines and news sites on countless topics including science, the media and technology. He is also the author of many white papers, special reports and ebooks covering a wide range of subjects.
Kevin Sawyer
Broadcast Beat - Production Industry Resource