TV isn’t Dead, but Growing

Posted on: 06/18/10 2:21 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes claims, “TV is not only not dead, but it’s one of the fastest growing businesses. Ratings, time spent and viewership are all up.”

Two weekends ago I taught my Connect Workshop to a group of youth leaders from West Virginia and Pennsylvania. In that workshop I started with a youth culture quiz. Two weeks prior I started my parent seminar with the same quiz. In both those groups… they almost all missed this question:

What activity is more popular with teenagers age 12-17?

A. Watching TV

B. Internet Use

Everyone always guesses B.

The answer is A… by a landslide.

The results are clear across the board- all agree that TV dominates the media time of young people (and adults too, actually). Kaiser reports that 8-18 year olds average 4 hours and 29 minutes of television programming each and every day (an increase of 40 minutes per day since the last report 5 years ago). And Nielson reports about 3 hours and 46 minutes daily on traditional TV alone (not internet TV, mobile TV, no DVRs, etc.). for 12-17-year-olds.

Time-Warner’s Jeff Bewkes says “Digital is good for TV,” in this report from Nielson this week, contrary to conjecture that internet or mobile devices are slowly replacing TV.

The sad fact is… TV content is just getting worse and worse. As I shared last week in my article about the sexually charged MTV Movie Awards, MTV has put themselves in a bind. Each year they try to trump the previous year, and the easiest way to do that is to push the limits even further. It’s difficult to even imagine the show 10 years from today.”

One Reply to “TV isn’t Dead, but Growing”

  1. NICE!

    I would have never guessed this, but the more I talk to students (and get sucked into the online & mobile tech vortex…) the more i realize that they’re not into that yet.

    And remembering back, neither was I. I didn’t use email heavily until college.

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