Under 50s turning of TV

Traditional television viewing numbers are plummeting in the 18-49 age group according to Duncan Grieve at The Spinoff.

Ratings show people under 50 are abandoning television

A few months ago NZ on Air published some research which showed how radically media consumption has evolved among younger generations in this country. Specifically, it showed that the younger half of the country was more likely to watch video online on a daily basis than linear television.

It was not well received by much of the television industry, or by NZ on Air…

…I asked a friend who works at a media agency to provide me with some television ratings data.

What I found astounded me.

18-49 Ratings decline in NZ2006–2016


That’s a decline of 41% over four years.

This doesn’t really shock me. Younger people are turned off by and are turning off traditional television.

Greive goes on to ask questions about whether NZ on Air should plough so much money into the old channels, and gives an example of abysmal bang for bucks.

…the last episode of Dirty Laundry – TVNZ1’s flagship drama, produced at a cost of over $500,000 per episode – attracted an audience in its channel’s target 25-54 demographic of just over 25,000.

A minuscule number, by any standards – particularly given that we are repeatedly told that television remains the place mass audiences live, and thus justifies its exorbitant share of the funding budgets.

25,000 people in a target demographic watching a $500,000+ episode of television represents around $20 per viewer.

That is shocking.

Native Affairs political debate

There’s been a lot of controversy around Maori Television lately with accusations that Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell intefered with and was involved in the calling off of a political debate.

There has also been an exodus of Maori TV journalists.

Native Affairs has often been an interesting look at Maori orientated politics. Tonight the debate that was supposedly called off will air – 8.30 pm on Maori Television.

So it’s my last show. Thought I’d invite some politicians on and talk about some controversial stuff

The promo says:

On Native Affairs we host our first political debate of 2015. Our leading Maori politicians are live in studio to discuss all the big issues.

Whanau Ora. Kohanga Reo. First right of refusal. And Maori land.

I believe that Te Ururoa Flavell will be there as well as Metiria Turei (Greens), Winston Peters (NZ First) and Alfred Ngaro (National).

Greens want in on Key-Cunliffe debates

Radio NZ reports that the Greens have asked TV1 and TV3 to include them in the main leaders debates in this year’s leadership debate.

The Green Party wants television networks to include one of its party leaders in the main leaders’ debates in the lead-up to the election – alongside John Key and David Cunliffe.

The Greens have made a formal request to TV One and TV3 for a co-leader to join the Prime Minister and the leader of the Opposition, rather than take part in the minor parties debate – which has been the typical election format.

The Greens say their 12 percent polling position puts them in a different league to the other smaller parties which are polling around 5 percent or less.

The timing isn’t the best for the poll claim, today’s One News/Colmar Brunton poll has greens down from 14 to 8%. That may be a one-off aberration or temporary, although they might not bounce right back up.

But that’s a side issue.

Should Turei or Norman join in with the main leader’s debates? There’s some justification. While Greens are polling about 1/3 of Labour levels they have been as active in opposition, probably more active. And Greens have ambitions of being a major player.

But there are things against this too, including:

  • Media like the presidential two opponent format.
  • If they let the Greens step up to the big time in debates Winston Peters is certain to claim a right as well.

But perhaps the biggest issue that requires some careful thought – it would effectively mean that Key was up against double barrelled opponents of Cunliffe plus either Turei or Norman.

Would two against one be a fair contest?

‘We’ don’t just love crap

The Herald on Sunday editorial claims “The television reality is… we just love crap”:

They’ve just had to sit through eight or so weeks of home renovation as the couples on TV3’s The Block battled it out; tonight the grand-daddy of reality TV shows opens when TV One premieres New Zealand’s Got Talent; and you can bet the poison darts will be flying later in the week when the much-hyped fly-on-the-wall show The Ridges makes its screen debut.

Anyone doubting the success of these types of programmes will have been put firmly in their place on Friday when MediaWorks’ publicists released the viewing figures for The Block’s auction finale. More than one million Kiwis tuned in.

Interest in the show, or should that be the people on it, was reflected in mainstream media, both online and in print, who followed the contestants’ exploits closely. How could it be otherwise when something like 10,000 people blocked the streets trying to get a glimpse inside the four houses?

We are, it seems, addicted to crap.

“We” are not addicted to crap. Many people are, but more people are not.

Television snobs who bemoan the lack of quality shows on our screens must be apoplectic in front of their high-definition TVs right now.

No. We simply don’t watch the crap. Nor the crap advertisements.

For the two main broadcasters, it is a no-contest. They have to play shows that people watch and advertisers want to be aligned with.

Is there any point in those unhappy with this moaning? No. It’s a numbers game.

Moaning can be fun. More fun than watching crap programmes. But instead of moaning we usually find something else to do, like gardening, or finding our own preference of crap online. Where advertising is easy to avoid.

Until people vote with their remotes, we are stuck with reality TV.

The funny thing is that those who don’t vote with their remotes are the ones ‘stuck’ with reality TV. The rest of us are fine. As the connoiseurs of crap keep escaping from their crap lives?

And ‘we’ don’t just love crap. We have lives.