美国:电视业正努力赢回“零电视”群体

越来越多的人停止为有线和卫星电视服务付费,甚至懒得用天线获取免费的电视信号。他们正在网上(有的通过手机)看节目和电影。“零电视”家庭已从2007年的200万增加至500万户,多为年轻人、单身以及尚无小孩的家庭。由于开通传统电视服务的人数近于停止,这部分人越来越重要。如何赢回他们成为NAB全国会议的主要议题。

【文章全文】Broadcastersstruggle to win back the Zero TV crowd

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Somepeople have had it with TV. They've had enough of the 100-plus channeluniverse. They don't like timing their lives around network show schedules.They're tired of $100-plus monthly bills.

A growing number of them havestopped paying for cable and satellite TV service, and don't even use an antenna to get free signals over the air. Thesepeople are watching shows and movies on the Internet, sometimes via cellphoneconnections. Last month, the Nielsen Co. started labeling people in thisgroup "Zero TV" households, because they fall outside the traditionaldefinition of a TV home. There are 5million of these residences in the U.S., up from 2 million in 2007.

Winning back the Zero TV crowdwill be one of the many issues broadcasters discuss at their national meeting,called the NAB Show, taking place this week in Las Vegas.

Whileshow creators and networks make money from this group's viewing habits throughdeals with online video providers and from advertising on their own websitesand apps, broadcasters only get paid when they relay such programming intraditional ways. Unless broadcasters can adapt to modern platforms, theirrevenue from Zero TV viewers will be zero.

"Getting broadcast programingon all the gizmos and gadgets -- like tablets, the backseats of cars, andlaptops -- is hugely important," says Dennis Wharton, a spokesman for theNational Association of Broadcasters.

AlthoughWharton says more than 130 TV stations in the U.S. are broadcasting live TVsignals to mobile devices, few people have the tools to receive them. Mostcellphones require an add-on device known as a dongle, but these gadgets arejust starting to be sold.

Amongthis elusive group of consumers is Jeremy Carsen Young, a graphic designer, whois done with traditional TV. Young has a working antenna sitting unplugged onhis back porch in Roanoke, Va., and he refuses to put it on the roof.

"Idon't think we'd use it enough to justify having a big eyesore on the house,"the 30-year-old says.

Onlinevideo subscriptions from Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. -- which cost lessthan $15 a month combined -- have given him and his partner plenty to watch.They take in back episodes of AMC's "The Walking Dead" and The CW's"Supernatural," and they don't need more, he says.

Hedoesn't mind waiting as long as a year for the current season's episodes toappear on streaming services, even if his friends accidently blurt out spoilersin the meantime. With regular television, he might have missed the latestdevelopments, anyway.

"Bythe time it gets to me to watch, I've kind of forgotten about that," hesays.

Forthe first time, TV ratings giant Nielsen took a close look at this category ofviewer in its quarterly video report released in March. It plans to measuretheir viewing of new TV shows starting this fall, with an eye towardincorporating the results in the formula used to calculate ad rates.

"Ourcommitment is to being able to measure the content wherever it is," saysDounia Turrill, Nielsen's senior vice president of insights.

The Zero TV segment isincreasingly important, because the number of people signing up for traditionalTV service has slowed to a standstill in the U.S.

Lastyear, the cable, satellite and telecoms providers added just 46,000 videocustomers collectively, according to research firm SNL Kagan. That is tiny whencompared to the 974,000 new households created last year. While it's still100.4 million homes, or 84.7 percent of all households, it's down from the peakof 87.3 percent in early 2010.

Nielsen's study suggests thatthis new group may have left traditional TV for good. While three-quartersactually have a physical TV set, only 18 percent are interested in hooking itup through a traditional pay TV subscription.

Zero TVers tend to be younger,single and without children. Nielsen's senior vice president of insights, DouniaTurrill, says part of the new monitoring regime is meant to help determinewhether they'll change their behavior over time. "As these homes changelife stage, what will happen to them?"

CynthiaPhelps, a 43-year-old maker of mental health apps in San Antonio, Texas, saysthere's nothing that will bring her back to traditional TV. She's watched TV inthe past, of course, but for most of the last 10 years she's done without it.

Shefinds a lot of programs online to watch on her laptop for free -- like the TEDtalks educational series -- and every few months she gets together with friendsto watch older TV shows on DVD, usually "something totally geeky,"like NBC's "Chuck."

The24-hour news channels make her anxious or depressed, and buzz about the latesthot TV shows like "Mad Men" doesn't make her feel like she's missingout. She didn't know who the Kardashian family was until she looked them up afew years ago.

"Ifeel absolutely no social pressure to keep up with the Joneses in thatrespect," she says.

ForPhelps, it's less about saving money than choice. She says she'd rather spendher time productively and not get "sucked into" shows she'll regretlater.

"I don't want someone elsedictating the media I get every day," she says. "I want to be in charge of it. When I have a TV, I'm less incontrol of that."

TheTV industry has a host of buzz words to describe these non-traditionalistviewers. There are "cord-cutters,"who stop paying for TV completely, and make do with online video andsometimes an antenna. There are "cord-shavers,"who reduce the number of channels they subscribe to, or the number of roomspay TV is in, to save money.

Thenthere are the "cord-nevers,"young people who move out on their own and never set up a landline phoneconnection or a TV subscription. They usually make do with a broadband Internetconnection, a computer, a cellphone and possibly a TV set that is not hooked upthe traditional way.

That'sthe label given to the group by Richard Schneider, the president and founder ofthe online retailer Antennas Direct. The site is doing great business sellingantennas capable of accepting free digital signals since the nation'stransition to digital over-the-air broadcasts in 2009, and is on pace to sellnearly 600,000 units this year, up from a few dozen when it started in 2003.

Whilethe "cord-nevers" are a target market for him, the category is alsotroubling. More people are raised with the power of the Internet in theirpocket, and don't know or care that you can pull TV signals from the air forfree.

"They'remore aware of Netflix than they're aware over-the-air is even available,"Schneider says.

Thatbrings us to truck driver James Weitze. The 31-year-old satisfies his video fixwith an iPhone. He often sleeps in his truck, and has no apartment. To be sure,he's an extreme case who doesn't fit into Nielsen's definition of a householdin the first place. But he's watching Netflix enough to keep up with shows like"Weeds," "30 Rock," "Arrested Development,""Breaking Bad," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and"Sons of Anarchy."

He'snot opposed to TV per se, and misses some ESPN sports programs like the "XGames."

But he's so divorced from thetraditional TV ecosystem it could be hard to go back. It's become easierfor him to navigate his smartphone than to figure out how to use a TV set-topbox and the button-laden remote control.

"I'mpretty tech savvy, but the TV industrywith the cable and the television and the boxes, you don't know how to usetheir equipment," he says. "I try to go over to my grandma's placeand teach her how to do it. I can't even figure it out myself."

【文章作者】佚名

【文章来源】cbsnews

【文章链接】http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-207_162-57578346/broadcasters-struggle-to-win-back-the-zero-tv-crowd/


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