People Who Subscribe to Streaming Services Watch Fewer Channels, Study Finds

by Paige Albiniak  |  09.26.2016

There are more TV channels to watch than ever, but just because they’ve been built doesn’t mean viewers are coming.

In fact, households that subscribe to subscription video on demand services (SVOD), such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, tend to watch one fewer channel per month than households without these services, according to Nielsen Media Research’s Total Audience Report for the second quarter of the year.

There is good news, however. According to Nielsen, the decline in live-TV viewing is leveling off, with adults watching just two minutes less of live TV than they did a year ago. Two years ago, that number declined by eight minutes year to year.

Nielsen found that viewers have an average of nearly 206 TV channels available to them and watch just 9.6 percent of them or 19.8 per month. That’s down from 2015 when viewers had 208 channels at their disposal, but still stuck to about the same number of channels, 19.9, watched per month.

African-Americans receive more channels than the average TV home, according to Nielsen, with 218, and watch 24.6 of those — or 11.3 percent — each month. Asian-Americans, in contract, receive 185.2 channels on average and watch just 13.8 channels per month.

There’s more in Nielsen’s full Total Audience Report.


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