December 05, 2011

TV Just Won't Stay Dead

It's been a long time since we checked in on the death of television.

In about 2007, as the economy was going into the tank and the ad industry was bleeding money our chattering marketing geniuses, pundits, and visionary journalists developed a "narrative" that television was dying. Of course, TV was being killed by the web. Why would we watch TV anymore when we had YouTube and Hulu and TiVo?

Well, from time to time the investigative staff here at Ad Contrarian world headquarters likes to check up on the imperious assertions of our chattering experts and see how they're doing.

The big story last week was that Nielsen is predicting that the number of US households with TVs is going to drop next year for the first time in history. All the way down to 97% -- ohmygod!

So to get the real story we did something that takes exceptional courage and determination. We read all the way through the 2010-2011 Nielsen report on TV viewing. If you've ever attempted this, you know it's not for the faint of heart.

Wading through 32 pages of charts, graphs, columns, percentages, distributions, circles, arrows, pies and bars we were able to actually find some interesting facts that you'll never read because they're out of sync with what the media decided 5 years ago

During the 2010-11 season:
  • Average household TV viewing increased more than an hour a week from the previous year
  • Average household TV viewing increased to 59 hours and 28 minutes a week (when do these people sleep?)
  • Average household TV viewing reached almost 8 1/2 hours a day (when do they work?)
  • Average household TV viewing has increased almost 12% from 2000
  • Average household TV viewing has reached its highest point ever
Sound dead to you?

Book Update:
Several people have asked about a print version of the book. It is in the works and I hope it will be available before Christmas. Thanks to all the people who have written and tweeted nice things about it. Remember, you're allowed to write a glowing customer review right here.

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