Report: US linear TV viewing time falls 14% in Q1
April 30, 2021
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.