Local News Sources Losing Ground to Live Streaming From Social Media

DALLAS--A growing number of U.S. broadband households is spending more time watching user generated live content on social media, according to a new industry report from Parks Associates. The growth in this sector parallels a declining number of viewers getting their news from local new sources.

In the research firm’s report, “The Future of Live Entertainment,” 47 percent of U.S. broadband households watch user-generated content more than once per month. By the end of 2017, 12 percent of U.S. broadband households were regularly watching either a live TV show or live events via a live streaming site or app such as Twitter, Facebook, or Twitch. ABC launched a 24/7 live streaming network in April 2018 to capitalize on this trend.

The report also found that just 37 percent of U.S. adults are getting their news from local news sources, including newspapers, TV and radio, down from 46 percent in 2016.

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"Total average video consumption on a television has dropped 13 percent, from more than 20 hours per week in 2012 to less than 17 hours per week in 2017," said Billy Nayden, Research Analyst, Parks Associates. "In contrast, user-generated live content is gaining popularity, with platforms such as Instagram Live providing new ways for content creators to engage with their viewers in real time. As more alternatives to traditional TV emerge, all players will explore new and unique ways to package and present digital streaming as part of their services.

"For content whose value is its live broadcast, such as sports and breaking news, there are online alternatives emerging," Nayden added. "Much of news consumption has moved to social media, while sports TV has shifted to digital in recent years, with many OTT options going direct to consumers, including MLB.TV, NBA League Pass, and ESPN+."

The report also found that Millennials (18-34 years of age), watch 30 percent of their live content on a TV from online video services and that 78 percent of that age group report getting their news from social media. Approximately 35 percent of TV antenna owners connect their antenna to a streaming media player.

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.