Television Viewership and its Evolving Medium

The television industry is an interchanging, evolving medium with extremely popular viewership and widespread audiences. Throughout the different decades and phases of American culture, television and the way viewers access it has changed: although TV is getting older, it never looks its age.

Television was key to the world of the baby boomer generation, a generation immersed in modernization and technological advancements. There was a certain buzz about television because it became an accessible medium of constant entertainment for everyone. Soon enough, every family owned a television in their living room and tuning in to the daily news, sitcoms, and game shows became part of their everyday lifestyle.

The generation of the baby boomers laid the foundation for television’s popularity and growth for decades more to come. In more recent years, we have seen a shift in how different demographics of consumers choose to watch their TV. Young millennial viewers, specifically adults 18-34, are ditching their television sets and monthly cable bills for online streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or Youtube. The weekly share of viewing TV content online and on streamed sites has increased 15% from 2012 to 54% in 2016, while traditional viewing has decreased from 75% to 39% among millennials.  

In comparison, adults 55+ prefer more of a traditional way of viewing their daily television with more than 50% still watching live. Although there is a change in behavior in how different demographics prefer their viewership, television is skyrocketing in popularity and remains the most popular form of medium in the industry.