David Poltrack, chief research officer of CBS Corp, offered the Television Critics Association's summer press tour a different vision to that of "peak TV" outlined last week by John Landgraf, CEO of FX Network, Advertising Week reported.
Poltrack said that the audience for CBS programming had increased over the past ten years, from 12.1m viewers in 2003-2004 to 12.3m in 2014-2015 as he sought to counter the "myth" that TV viewership is in decline.
The major change that had taken place, he said, was not in overall viewing but the decline in live viewing, with connected TVs – now in 60% of homes – the most recent development allowing consumers to set their own viewing timetable.
He further suggested that the decline in millennial TV viewing was exaggerated, arguing that last year's 11% decrease among 18-34 year-olds could be partly explained by that fact that many were watching in households with broadband-only connections that weren't measured by Nielsen.
He highlighted data that showed millennials following the viewing patterns of previous generations as they got older. "The difference in viewing levels has always been lifestage-related," he said.
And as this age group left their parents to set up their own homes, "many of them will, like the generations before them, purchase the biggest-screen television they can afford" and start watching broadcast TV, he stated.
Poltrack also took issue with the idea that the current TV advertising model was broken, pointing out that a study undertaken by CBS earlier this year showed that "the average digital campaign added just five reach points to the 62% television-campaign delivery".
Data sourced from Advertising Week; additional content by Warc staff