Linear broadcast television has lost 4 percent of its total audience this fall, but Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger doesn't think the viewers left the couch.
In his latest report, Juenger says TV watchers are simply migrating to online SVOD services like Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Hulu.
"We don't believe people stopped watching stuff," he writes. "We believe they are watching it in different ways. We examine all the evidence at hand and come to a strong conclusion that SVOD is primarily to blame. It seems SVOD is no longer incremental, it has become cannibalistic (especially in the summer, when linear TV is at its weakest)."
Nielsen is reporting a 4 percent total-day drop in C3 ratings performance for ad-supported networks.
"Viewers like SVOD because it offers programming on demand, without advertising and offers a pleasing interface and helpful recommendations," Juenger adds. "Hence, we don't think those viewers are coming back. The trend is more likely to accelerate than decline."
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