Nielsen released new viewing data for Q1 2018 prompting news outlets to say live TV still dominates. It doesn’t, and we discuss why. Comcast added Amazon Prime Video to its X1 set-top box. We debate the merits of the move.
Chapter 1: Why live TV is not dominant for half of Americans (1:00)
A quick glance at the new Nielsen data shows that the average adult watched 4 hours 46 minutes of live and time-shifted TV in the first quarter of 2018. Online video through connected devices contributed just 51 minutes more. The average data is likely what caught the eye of many news outlets and led them to report that live TV dominates video consumption. However, older Americans skew the average heavily toward television.
Baby boomers watched 6 hours 11 minutes of live+timeshifted TV each day while millennials watched almost 3-times less, 2 hours 17 minutes. Conversely, millennials watched 1 hour 12 minutes a day on the PC, smartphone, streaming media player (SMP), and tablet, while baby boomers watched half as much. People younger than millennials watch the same or less live+timeshifted TV as millennials.
Half the US population is 38-years-old or younger. For this group, live TV does not dominate. In fact, digital is more popular for many.
Chapter 2: Comcast adds Amazon Prime Video to X1 STBs (11:00)
Comcast says it will integrate Amazon Prime Video into the X1 experience. Xfinity video subscribers will be able to access it alongside other SVOD services such as Netflix and Curiosity Stream. Comcast is the first pay TV operator to integrate Amazon Prime Video.
Both Will and I believe that Comcast X1 subscribers will welcome the integration. However, neither of us feel it will do much to stop subscribers leaving. Comcast has lost nearly 400,000 video subscribers since Q2 2017. The addition of Netflix and other SVOD services to X1 has not been successful at reducing the losses. Adding Prime Video doesn’t look likely to change that trend.
Chapter 3: Are people better off using the Amazon Prime Video app? (17:00)
There are rumors that Amazon will be releasing a new version of the Prime Video app. The new version will focus on adding personalization features such as profiles to the experience. Amazon will most likely release the new experience first on Fire TV devices. After that, the company will likely target the most popular connected OS’s, including Roku, iOS, and Android TV. There is no guarantee Comcast X1 subscribers will see the new features anytime soon. The same is true for new interfaces and functionality in the Netflix or Curiosity Stream apps.