Report: US linear TV viewing time falls 14% in Q1

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Samba TV has released its quarterly State of Viewership report, showing viewership losses in the linear landscape compared to Q4 2020.

According to Samba TV’s analysis, there was a 10 per cent quarter-over-quarter decline in the daily average number of TV-viewing US households consuming linear, along with a 14 per cent decline in total minutes viewed. Every month since November has progressively seen lower daily average US household tune-ins than the previous month.
On top of that, linear advertising impressions were down year-over-year across the US, UK and Germany showing that demonstrates that the industry has not quite returned to pre-pandemic levels and likely will continue to shift to digital as viewers increase time-shifting and streaming behaviours.
Report highlights include:
  • Interest in premium linear content is down: The average number of households that watched Showtime, HBO, and Starz each day in Q1’21 was lower than it was Q4’20. Starz saw the steepest dropoff at -21 per cent, followed by HBO (-17 per cent), and Showtime (-6 per cent).
  • Linear’s losses were widespread: 81 per cent of US TV networks saw quarter-over-quarter declines based on average daily household.
  • Live sports continued their slide: Q1 2021 was full of major sporting events, including the Super Bowl, but overall sports viewership continued to decline year-over-year, which started with the stoppage of major sports leagues in March 2020.

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