ARF pushes for replacement of TV Households with TV Accessible Households

By Felicia Nwosu 

The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) has called for a paradigm shift, urging professionals in the media buying and planning space to scrape off the term “TV Households” and replace it with “TV Accessible Households”. The call, ARF said, is  in tune with the new realities posed by the unprecedented technological disruption and to also reflect the current TV landscape, as more contemporary viewers watch TV content on other devices.
The research body noted that in today’s media ecosystem, all households have access to television as a result of the continued migration in viewing driven by broadband and mobile devices.

Paul Donato, Chief Research Director, ARF stated that the trend towards devices also holds true for audiences that do have a television set in the household – across age and marital status demographics.

“41% of consumers with television sets reported watching professionally produced programming on a device the previous day. These dynamics highlight the problems with cross-device measurement today. This finding in particular dilutes the ‘representativeness’ of Automated Content Recognition (ACR) streams and makes calibration with a reference standard like DASH essential for effective measurement,” he said.

The new move surfaced after the ARF conducted an extensive enumeration survey of 10,000+ adults aged 18+ via its most recent Device and Account Sharing (DASHDASH) survey. The DASH survey is a nationally projectable enumeration study of consumer behavior with TV and digital media. The survey data was collected online, face to face and by phone. In addition, 3,141 of the respondents were in previous year’s survey, allowing it to uncover any longitudinal changes using a unified sample. The evolution of DASH will be explored in a session entitled, “DASH: Building a New Standard in TV,” at an ARF AUDIENCExSCIENCE .

Among the DASH findings is that while 5% of U.S. households do not have a TV set, 4% of U.S. households have broadband access and watch video content on other devices via streaming providers and virtual MVPDs. This trend is expected to continue. The survey also noted over the past year there was a sharp increase in broadband-only homes (including vMPVDs) from 25% to 31%. With state-of-the-art video resolution and the omnipresence of mobile devices, penetration and usage will increase in the year ahead. Fueling this adoption are younger audiences; DASH found 14% of households headed by an 18- to -34-year-old do not have a TV set, and 39% of single 18- to 24-year-olds living alone access TV through other devices only.

Other results discovered during the findings from the DASH survey include, television sets manufactured by major brands are more likely in the living/family/media rooms or dens.

It revealed that these TV sets are used more frequently and more likely to be “co-viewed”. Less costly TV sets are located elsewhere in the home (i.e., bedroom) and more likely viewed by a specific family member with a specific viewing behavior. Hence, location in the home is an important factor for advertisers as smart-TV manufacturers add free ad supported TV (FAST) networks and license their own ACR for audience measurement.

Over 75% of U.S. TVA households have 2+ streaming providers and 50% have 4+ providers. NetflixNFLX, at 65%, is prevalent in most of the homes, followed by AmazonAMZN at 57%. The survey also found 65% of households with fewer than three streaming services are more apt not to have any ad supported streaming services, (AVOD). On the other hand, 69% of households with 5+ services have at least ad supported service. Also, using the survey’s longitudinal capabilities, over the past year, 32% of households cut back on their premium video service, 39% added on to their premium service and 36% signed on for an ad supported service.

It also indicated that year-over-year 76% of households with pay TV kept their subscription in 2022. Meanwhile another 20% dropped pay TV and became a broadband only home. Conversely, 18% of the households that had broadband only in 2021 had a pay TV subscription by the following year. The ARF notes that although the percentages are close, pay TV in 2021 had a much bigger base than broadband only homes. Hence household penetration for broadband only homes grew by a net 6% primarily from households that dropped pay TV. Pay TV penetration dropped from 59% of all U.S. households to 56% the following year. Moreover, the ARF estimates 13.4% of all households cut the cord between 2021 and 2022, while 13.1% adopted broadband.

Furthermore, with the emergence of 5G, the DASH survey found 32% have ever “cast” from their mobile phones to their TV sets, perhaps as a cost saving measure to access to TV. Young adults at 42% and Asians at 40% are more likely than others to “cast” from their mobile devices to TV sets. ARF notes this finding is on par with other DASH data on the use of digital media, ecommerce and mobile devices showing similar levels of tech savviness. The ARF suggests this trend is worth closely following in the years ahead.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    No comments found.