US Households with TVs on the Rise, Nielsen Report Says

by Cate Lecuyer  |  08.26.2016

A new study released Friday by Nielsen shows the number of televisions in U.S. homes is growing, even as viewers turn to streaming services and cut cords on cable.

The report estimates that in the 2016-17 season the number of U.S. homes with televisions will reach 118.4 million—a 1.7 percent increase from last year’s 116.4 million homes. That number has been steadily growing since 2013, and this season marks the largest growth over four years.

The data found that the number of homes receiving traditional TV signals of broadcast, cable, DBS or Telco, as well viewers like Hulu or Sling TV subscribers watching through a broadband connection, grew to 96 percent, up 0.8 percent from last year.

At the same time, the number of people over the age of two is also up to 301.7 million, a 1.6 percent increase from last year. Nielsen, which incorporates U.S. Census Bureau data, also reported a rise in Hispanic, black and Asian households, but didn’t provide specific numbers.

The rise in televisions in U.S. households follows a June report by Nielsen saying that for the first time, SVOD services services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime have caught up to DVR penetration in the U.S., with close to 30 percent of the population having access to both—a 20 percent increase from last year.

RELATED: SVOD, DVR Household Penetration Now Equal, Nielsen Finds

By the same token, a separate study commissioned by Nielsen and Google that looked specifically at YouTube indicates a symbiotic relationship between the video platform and TV viewership.

The case study shows the two competing mediums may actually be helping each other out, Adweek reports. TV reach seems to drive YouTube engagement, and vice versa, meaning those who watch a TV program’s content on YouTube are more likely to tune in to the actual show, indicating a correlation between TV audience increases and YouTube viewership.

“As digital video viewership continues to grow on platforms such as YouTube, advertisers, agencies and TV programmers have an opportunity to leverage the connection between digital views and TV audiences,” according to Nielsen’s report. “Nielsen’s research shows that YouTube engagement through views and uploads is connected to TV reach or bringing more people to trial the show, and in general playing a part in keeping viewers connected to the TV program.”

READ MORE: Variety, Deadline, Adweek

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