Fewer Homes Have Televisions, But People Are Watching Lots Of Their Favorite Shows And Movies

April 12, 2013  |  


Perhaps it’s hard for some to believe, but there are five million homes in the US that have no TVs in them. According to USA Today, this is a relatively small number, but it’s one that’s growing, so the industry is paying attention. In 2007, only two million homes were TV-less.

While some of us couldn’t dream of such a thing, there are a number of reasons why more people are finding traditional TV/cable alternatives. Part of it is the monthly cost of the cable hook up. Most of those without a TV are young, single, and without children. When they move out on their own, they just never get around to setting up the line. Some people just want to watch less TV.

But another big reason are the alternatives. You don’t actually need to have a TV to watch TV anymore. And even if you have one, you don’t necessarily need cable now that there’s greater access to streaming video and programming on DVD.

“In 2012, 106 million Americans watched TV online. By 2017, that number will 145 million, an annualized growth rate of nearly 7% year-on-year. The industry likes to refer to it as ‘cutting the cord.’ It is an apt metaphor,” reports Quartz. That site recently reported on an eMarketer analysis that found a third of Internet users (80 percent of us fall in this category) would consider getting rid of their television all together. Now more people are streaming movies, their favorite shows, and other programming. So as long as you don’t mind watching sometime after the original broadcast, you don’t really have to miss anything on broadcast TV, even if you only have a computer or tablet.

To further support the transition away from traditional television, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said on that company’s Facebook page yesterday to say that people watched four billion hours of video via Netflix in the first quarter of this year.

African Americans watch more television than other demographics, so it will be interesting to see if this trend catches on in black households. Would you do away with your television?

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