ccimage ga1cfa988a9e97629c6d5b7ec9cc903188934a58e9e38a8ade2d63eefca937864ab133e6877756cc93a0a07e689f8c4d4 scaled - Reaching the Fall 2021 TV Audience

Reaching the Fall 2021 TV Audience

By Dave Perkins

As TV Networks begin to roll out their premieres for the 2021 Fall TV season, they are faced with the challenge of how to reach viewers in an ever-growing and changing category. Each network is faced with a number of obstacles:

  • Older generations still dominate the network TV audience.
    • According to survey findings, viewers ages 60 and up said they spend 29% of their time with entertainment watching network TV. On the other hand, viewers ages 45–59, 30–44, and 15–29 said network TV makes up 20%, 11%, and 8% of their entertainment time, respectively. (1)


  • Older generations aren’t streaming as much as the younger audiences.
    • Viewers ages 60 and up said they spend only 14% of their entertainment time with streaming services, but those ages 15–29 said they spend 22% of their entertainment time with streaming. (1)


  • Younger viewers want it all one time.
    • On many platforms, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max and more, programs are released in full season chunks, rather than on a week-by-week basis. Currently, 57% of viewers ages 15–29 said they prefer that streaming services release all episodes of a series at once. (1)


  • Television budgets continue to fragment across video platforms.
    • It is estimated that US TV ad spending will make up 23.1% of total media ad spend in 2021 but will drop to 16.6% by 2025, as connected TV adoption increases and streaming services continue to eclipse traditional TV. (1)


Like many other mediums, the networks need to re-invent themselves and adapt to their younger audiences—the viewers of the future–in order to remain relevant. Among the changes that can be made to narrow the gap:

  • Cater some new programming to a younger audience to keep them there longer and further into the future.


  • Use their respective streaming platforms to preview new episodes on their respective streaming platforms (ie. Paramount, Peacock, etc.) so that those current users can get a similar taste that viewers on the popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max and more currently provide.


  • Promotion, promotion, promotion: blast social media channels with “teases” of these shows and direct viewers of all demographics to these programs.


Adjustments such a these could help narrow the gap and give the networks a fighting chance in the years to come in recovering potential ad revenue.


(1)Statistics: eMarketer, Inside Intelligence, 9/7/21

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