TV ownership on the decline in the US

Television ownership in the US has dropped for the first time in 20 years.

Research conducted by Nielsen has found that 96.7 per cent of American homes now own TVs, down from 98.9 per cent previously.

Nielsen attributes the decline to two reasons: increasing poverty in the US and the advancement in technology.

Many low-income households now can’t afford to own TV sets due to the added expense of digital antennas and young people are now growing up with laptops which give them access to a wide range of television shows and movies via the internet.

The second reason is prompting Nielsen to think about redefining the “television household” to include those who access content via the internet.

“We’ve been having conversations with clients,” said Pat McDonough, the senior vice president for insights and analysis at Nielsen. “That would be a big change for this industry, and we’d be doing it in consultation with clients if we do it.”

Nielsen says the decline also mirrors the trend in 1992 where TV ownership declined due to a prolonged recession. However, it was reversed in the mid-90s during the economic upswing.

While it is still believed that American households hold the TV at the centre of their media life, they are finding ways to live without it.


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