Television Industry - Statistics & Facts

Published by Amy Watson, May 24, 2019
Since the technology’s initial debut in the 1940s and 50s, television has matured from a luxury device to an almost standard feature within households around the world. In higher income countries, the prevalence of this technology is surpassed perhaps only by the refrigerator. Global television industry revenue reached over 366 billion GBP in 2016, and even with massive changes in the technological landscape, TV seems set to remain an important feature of everyday life in some form or another. While the traditional TV industry is expected to experience some stagnation in the coming years, new TV technologies are quickly taking its place.

Global online TV and movie revenues have increased from around 6 billion dollars in 2010 to over 55 billion in 2018, a number which is only expected to grow in the future. One of the fastest growing television technologies today is subscription video on demand, which is a service that allows consumers to watch their favorite television shows and movies any time they want on their televisions or computers. Projections indicate that there will be over 568 million subscription video on demand users worldwide by the year 2022. Although the methods and specific services through which people access television continue to change, the industry always seems to adapt, as evidenced by the fact that 1.63 billion households owned a TV in 2017.

As highlighted above, the industry is changing rapidly. Over the past two decades multiple technologies have entered the market and have been subsequently replaced by newer ones. Analog terrestrial TV dominated the market in the early 2000s, but was soon replaced with digital cable TV in the mid 2010s. Already, the new king is being challenged by DTA DTT, Pay IPTV, and a host of other technologies. By 2021, digital television is expected to have a household penetration rate of over 98 percent. But broadcasting technologies aren’t the only thing that is evolving within the industry; along with these new broadcasting technologies come advances in television hardware. Smart TVs, which combine with these new services to take advantage of internet connectivity, comprise around 70 percent of all TVs sold as of 2018.

The industry remains extremely lucrative to investors and hugely beneficial for advertisers, in fact, ad revenue is expected to reach a high of 173 billion dollars in 2018. The viewership distinction provided by channels and genres makes it easy for companies to target a specific type of audience with ads geared towards their unique interests. TV advertising expenditures have continued along a steadily increasing trend, eclipsing 200 billion dollars in 2018 and forecasted to reach nearly 230 billion by 2020. As of 2016, U.S. citizens consumed an average of around 270 minutes or 4.5 hours of TV each day, comprising nearly 20 percent of each person’s daily routine. If companies want to get people’s attention, television advertising is a way to be sure the message is arriving.

Although volatile, the television industry has proven time and time again to be able to adapt to both new technology and the changing demands of its consumers. Unlike many other technologies, television is a truly worldwide phenomenon, and has found its place in the lives of people from all walks of life and every corner of the globe.

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