Americans turn to the internet for TV

11 June 2014
ARLINGTON, VA: Just 6% of TV-owning households in the US now watch TV programming exclusively through an antenna-only signal while the proportion of households watching TV via the internet has almost doubled, a new study has shown.

Based on survey responses from 1,000 US adults, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) found 5% of US households now exclusively use the internet for TV programming, suggesting that the internet will soon surpass over-the-air as a service.

Furthermore, almost half (45%) of US TV households received at least some TV programming via the internet over the past year, up from 28% in 2013.

"We are at a pivotal point in consumer behaviour, as fewer and fewer American homes are now using only antennas to watch their favourite television programmes," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CEA.

"This continues a nine-year, downward trend that shows antenna-only viewership remains at all-time lows and an upward trend of consumers watching video programming when and where they choose," he added.

The growing popularity of video programming on connected devices was further endorsed by the survey, which found almost half (46%) of TV-user households watched video on a portable PC during the past year, up from 38% in 2013.

In terms of specific devices, 43% watched video on a smartphone (up from 33% in 2013), 35% watched video on a tablet (up from 26%) while 34% watched video on a desktop PC (up from 30%).

However, despite the rise of smartphone and tablet usage, the era of television is far from over as it maintained its dominance as the most popular viewing platform.

It had almost universal household penetration (at 97%), the report established, while the growth of internet-enabled TVs boosted rates of video-viewing on TV to 93% of US households.

Data sourced from CEA; additional content by Warc staff
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