Neilsen reports that TV ownership has dropped from 98.9% to 96.7%, the first drop in 20 years. They gave two reasons: poverty and technological changes in how we consume content, specifically, the NYT article mentioned laptops.
I think I've got another couple of reasons that are more important. Streaming video and tablets. It's no accident that this drop came now and not earlier or not change at all. We've had other recessions in the past 20 years and that has not changed TV ownership as dramatically as this 2% change.
While Neilsen is right about streaming videos as a cause, it's not just due to laptops. Ask the netbook makers and other PC makers being thrashed by the iPad. And yeah, though they won't admit it, the iPad, with 75-80% of the tablet and mobile media device marketshare, has changed how we consume video with its greater portability than laptops and its awesome 10+ hour battery life.
So don't be surprised if we continue to see a drop in TV ownership in the next few years. But don't worry, that percentage of TV ownership will only drop to a point - big screen HDTV will still be the number source for media consumption. The real question to ask is if tablets will outnumber TV in households.
And the answer to that is obvious, at least, to me. So, it's important for the studios to begin to consider new deals and models that will cater to a growing mobile audience that might spend more time watching videos on tablets and smartphones on the go than in the living room.
More at NYT.