In a recent article by the Wall Street Journal, “Big Media Needs to Embrace Digital Shift – Not Fight It,” young adults aged 18 – 24 are spending nearly 30% less time per week watching TV (since 2012). The drop is 18% for people aged 24 – 35. As expected, digital ad spending is rising and will surpass spending on TV in the U.S next year, reaching $77 billion – this according to eMarketer.
The trends towards mobile and digital consumption are not going away – and entertainment companies like Disney have already started to make big investments in the shift towards online viewing. Disney launched Viceland channel in partnership with Vice with a $400 million cash infusion and of course purchased Maker Studios in 2014 for an estimated $500 million plus incentives. On the flip side, the rapid decline in younger viewers is hurting Disney’s TV viewing numbers – specially related to properties like ESPN.