2017 saw the beginning of the end for traditional entertainment in the realms of cable tv, the NFL, and Hollywood
Whether it was due to the politicization of traditional entertainment choices, or the fact that they have priced out the general public, 2017 saw the largest declines in cable tv ownership, NFL football attendance and viewership, and going to movies churned out by Hollywood.
In fact statistics point to the years of 2013-2014 being the peak of these three mainstay industries,¬†and the new trend¬†over the past three to four years for the rise of ala carte streaming of individual shows, movies, and sporting events.
Cord cutting (Cable TV):
Winter is here for cable and satellite TV operators.
American consumers are cancelling traditional pay-TV service at a much faster rate than previously expected, according to research firm eMarketer.
In 2017, a total of 22.2 million U.S. adults will have cut the cord on cable, satellite or telco TV service to date ‚ÄĒ up 33% from 16.7 million in 2016 ‚ÄĒ the researcher now predicts. That‚Äôs significantly higher than eMarketer‚Äôs prior estimate of 15.4 million cord-cutters as of the end of this year. Meanwhile, the number of ‚Äúcord-nevers‚ÄĚ (consumers who have never subscribed to pay TV) will rise 5.8% this year, to 34.4 million.
‚ÄúYounger audiences continue to switch to either exclusively watching [over-the-top] video or watching them in combination with free-TV options,‚ÄĚ said Chris Bendtsen, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer. ‚ÄúLast year, even the Olympics and [the U.S.] presidential election could not prevent younger audiences from abandoning pay TV.‚ÄĚ –¬†Variety
NFL game attendance and viewership:
Last year, the NFL lost¬†about a million regular-season viewersversus the 2013 and 2014 seasons. It represented about a 6% fall-off ‚Äē enough to be easily noticed and maybe even cause a little concern, but it could be written off as a one-year blip.
Last year’s seepage has turned into a major break in the dam. The league is now down about¬†three million viewers per game from 2013 and 2014. When the specific teams appearing, the scope of the telecast and the week of the season are taken into account, the decline is even more dramatic: more than¬†four million viewers, or in excess of 20%.
The NFL, and all major sports, face some long-term trends that threaten viewership. Many people, particularly millennials, are just not tuning into traditional television nearly as much as past generations did. The range of leisure substitutes vastly expanded over the past decade, including streaming movies and series, YouTube videos, social media, gaming and texting. Live sports may be doing relatively better than other programming options for television networks, but the relative position doesn’t insulate sports from absolute declines.
Losing 20-25% of viewership in less than two years isn’t about long-term trends, though: They¬†may siphon off viewers, but not in such large quantities. No, a sizable chunk of this decline has to be attributed to more recent factors. –¬†Forbes
Hollywood sex scandals and declines in movie goers to theaters:
Hollywood may be eager to say goodbye to 2017 which was one of the worst and craziest years in its history, and there‚Äôs a number of reasons for that.
Statistics show Americans are falling out of love with going to the movies. Audiences have steadily shrunk as home entertainment options improved and movie theater attendance fell to a 22-year low.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs not a sea change, it‚Äôs a tsunami,‚ÄĚ¬†Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations, was cited as saying by Variety magazine.¬†‚ÄúThe tide has moved against movies. They used to be the hub of what entertainment is, but that core has shifted to streaming and television. Back in the day, people talked about ‚ÄėBack to the Future‚Äô or ‚ÄėE.T.‚Äô when they talked about entertainment. Today, it‚Äôs ‚ÄėStranger Things‚Äô or ‚ÄėGame of Thrones.’‚ÄĚ
Box office revenue in 2017 was the worst in a decade. Fifty-one percent of its total revenue was gobbled up by just 20 titles, leaving 145 other releases to split up the rest. Forty percent of the shrinking earnings have been eaten by two large studios, Disney and Warner Brothers. ‚Äď¬†Russia Today
Ironically one of the fastest growing industries in the realm of entertainment is viewership of online gaming tournaments, which has exploded so much that even ESPN has created both a television and radio show to cater to E-Sports.
Just as mainstream cable news is losing viewers outside the age groups of retiring Seniors and Baby Boomers, so too are nearly every traditional entertainment venues as the new generations demand choice over quantity, and the ability to experience events as a participant, rather than simply be a spectator to programmed media.
Kenneth Schortgen Jr¬†is¬†a writer for¬†The Daily Economist,¬†Secretsofthefed.com,¬†Roguemoney.net, and¬†Viral Liberty, and hosts¬†the popular¬†youtube podcast¬†on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.¬†Ken can also¬†be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the¬†Angel Clark radio show.