Speaking at a NewsCred conference last week, BuzzFeed President Jon Steinberg talked about his theory that content, and the ways it is distributed, will be “completely decoupled, I would say, in the next five years.”
The average television viewer right now, for right now, for network television, late 40s, early 50s. When you look at certain cable news networks it goes even higher. So you have one of two possibilities: Either at 47 years old, everybody starts watching television. Unlikely. Or there’s no new newspaper subscribers being born, for print. And there’s no new television viewers being born. I think that’s probably the likely choice. However, people love great content. There are shows on those networks people love to watch. There’s the Netflix content that people undeniably love to watch. And what that means is you can never fight the consumer, you can never fight a trend like this, so you’re going to see these things totally decoupled. What that means for brand marketers in the audience is that you will literally be on the same footing as anyone creating television programming, anyone creating video programming, anyone creating content programming of any kind.
(The quote above starts here.)
Pew has consistently found that the audience for news on TV and print has aged, and a recent report claimed that “by 2015, almost half of all television viewing will be done by folks over the age of 50.”
Younger viewers’ viewing habits create a “dilemma for the TV industry, which wants to put more content online but at the same time needs to protect the television screen,” Joe Flint writes.
Writes [media analyst Todd] Juenger: “They can choose to try to capture more online dollars for themselves, but the more they encourage their viewers to eschew traditional TV, the more they hasten the demise of their core business — especially if it ultimately enables cord-cutting.”