Published On: 05/12/2014
Two of the more dramatic statistics from Pews State of the News Media 2014 report come in the final two trends identified.
For its part, television is getting more expensive every year and its ability to reach a mass consumer base will remain its strongest asset for the foreseeable future. However, recent research from Nielsen shows that while the number of channels TV subscribers are receiving has more than quadrupled since 1994 (to 189 channels today), Americans persistently only watch 17 - that's fewer than 10%.
The broadening selection of what's available to consumers in video format - not to mention what's available on digital-only subscription services - indicates the expanding consumer trend that's allowed the internet to grow so furiously - in the sea of available content, consumers want only what's relevant for them. While Pew doesn't speculate about the future of TV, it's telling that Nielsen's own research actually identified an entirely new cohort of consumers in Q1 2013 - the Zero TV households.
"This small group of video enthusiasts is tuning out traditional TV—and the trend is growing. This “Zero-TV” group, which makes up less than 5 percent of U.S. households, has bucked tradition by opting to get the information they need and want from non-traditional TV devices and services." Consumers may not be cutting cords en masse, but as cable fees go up and new entrants disrupt, the opportunity to capture cord cutters is one news companies cannot pass up.
As one of the earliest movers to capitalize on Hispanic growth in the U.S., Tribune is in a favorable position to continue growth within this audience as its expectations of what qualifies as relevant media grow and shift over time. Even in spaced where advertising revenue is down year over year, Hispanic-specific publications continue to see revenue growth. However, what Pew's research shows is that very few media companies have responded to the opportunity, even though there has been considered efforts over the past year or two to do so.