Before the internet, people read newspapers, listened to the radio, and watched TV. These were the perfect channels for brands to target consumers. Marketers studied which demographics watched a certain show, at a certain time, and they knew to air their advertisements during those times. Target audiences were larger and not as clearly defined.

Today, we live in a digital world where print is dying and even TV is becoming irrelevant. Brands have had to move beyond traditional channels and adapt to the growing and ever-changing online environment, a place where social media and an online presence is vital to the survival of many brands.

When half the world is familiar with the term “Netflix and chill” it’s clear that anyone still sitting in front of a TV is most likely just using it to stream online series. Owing to our fast paced digitised lifestyles we are less prepared to wait a second longer to watch the next episode of our favourite series. Our demand for instant gratification is fed by on-demand content generated by social media feeds and online streaming portals such as Netflix and HBO.

A recent article revealed that traditional tv viewing has declined by 11% from 2010 to 2016, while weekly streaming hours have more that than tripled in the last 2 years

traditional-tv vs streamming

The decline in interest in traditional TV has been most prominent among teens and twenty-somethings (millennials) TV ratings within this demographic has declined by 40%.

In light of this growing trend, I thought it would be valuable to analyse 5 Google trends that further prove that your audience is no longer sitting in front of a TV.

The first graph generated from Google trends analyses interest in some of the most popular internet stars, PewDiePie being the most followed person on YouTube and Zoella being one of the most followed beauty YouTubers. The Graph illustrates interest in some of the most popular YouTube stars in comparison to some of the most watched television shows. While in the past television show Brittan’s Got Talent peaked in interest and dominated the Google trends chart, in 2016 YouTube sensation PewDiePie increased in interest ultimately overtaking what once was the most talked about television shows.

YouTube stars vs TV

The next graph clearly illustrates how interest in YouTube remains higher than the declining interest in TV. Recent data from Bloomberg has revealed this trend is spreading worldwide. As it was reported that the internet will trump TV for the first time in Germany in 2017. As more content shifts to online streaming platforms, people will be more inclined to choose the internet over TV when consuming content.

YouTube VS Tv

It’s been reported the most watched television shows are NFL Sunday Night and The Big Bang Theory, while Narcos and Orange Is The New Black have been reported as the most watched shows on Netflix. The graph illustrates interest over time in some of the most watched TV and Netflix shows. In 2016 interest in Netflix shows peaked high above the most watched TV shows. This is a clear indication that people are more interested in watching online shows in comparison to TV shows.

Top Tv shows vs Netflix

As more consumers shift towards consuming on-demand content, brands need to move beyond traditional entertainment channels. According to an article on Money Subscribe, the third quarter of 2016 saw around 812,000 U.S. customers cancelling their pay TV subscriptions, which is the largest quarterly loss TV companies have seen. It was also reported that cable subscriptions saw a decline of 1.4 million subscriptions compared to a year ago.

With the cable-cutting trend accelerating as more people move to online movie services such as Netflix and HBO, it’s evident that consumers are no longer sitting in front of their cable TVs. If brands are to succeed in the digital world they need to look at gaining a larger online presence by targeting their audiences on the right channels.

A recent study conducted by Google revealed that 6 in 10 YouTube subscribers said that they would follow advice on what to buy from their favourite creator over their favourite TV or movie personality. When it comes to purchasing decisions, it’s clear that the opinions of creators hold more weight than any brand or celebrities opinion. It is for this reason my peers and I at Webfluential are so passionate about influencer marketing. There isn’t a doubt in our minds that working with influencers adds significant value to any marketing campaign, and in light of the above statistics, one can’t deny the power of creators.