Nielsen says there are less TV households than last year: the number of TVHH has dropped from 115.9 to 114.7 million (Preliminary Household Universe Estimate).
- How do we know? Estimations based on the 2010 US census and on data gathered by Nielsen while recruiting people meter households: so what is the margin of error?
- TV sets that do not receive digital signal are not counted. Some households did not update for the digital switch (June 2009).
- About cord-cutting? According to a Convergence Consulting study, pay TV lost 1 million subscribers in 2010. Do some people decide to use a computer or an iPad to watch TV? They might have a big screen but no TV set. They watch movies: if they are using Hulu, Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Video, RedBox or Vudu, what would they need TV for? News? Everything is available online. Cord-cutting sounds like a viable option. People unsubscribe from cable or satellite and save, especially "the young and the restless". Netflix boasts as many subscribers as the biggest cable-operator (MSO).
- Price could be an issue: average pay TV subscribers spend $75 / month. One can give up TV, not the Web.
Same causes produce the same effects. VOD is growing. And since there is, in Europe, an annual tax on the TV set (150 to 200 $, depending on the country) for public TV, this might be one more reason to give up TV.