Video: Which is better, broadcast or streaming?

By Julie Burke

As a Media Buying Agency, one of the most frequent questions we receive regarding television is “Which is better, broadcast or streaming?” The answer to this is – BOTH!

Video viewing habits have changed immensely in the past 10 years. When streaming was first introduced, we all yelled “Broadcast TV is dead!” I mean, why would anyone watch broadcast TV when they can watch anything they want, any time they want, on a myriad of devices? But as the years passed, we realized – we love some good old traditional television.

Over The Air (OTA) paired with Over The Top (OTT) is the new bundle for television viewers. OTA homes watch more broadcast TV than those with cable or satellite, naturally. And they complement their broadcast TV viewing with OTT. According to a Nielsen TV survey, 80% of audiences in OTA homes also subscribe to streaming services. And we are starting to see a shift in these homes as they start to watch more streaming than broadcast.

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The cost of streaming comes into play with many OTA homes. In fact, according to the Nielsen survey, 50% of OTA homes say they watch free, ad-supported streaming services. This is twice as much as homes with cable and satellite options. These viewers also rank “ad-free” and “ad-skipping” at the bottom of their priorities when it comes to streaming services.

All of this provides opportunity for our clients here at Wahl Media as well as other advertisers. The OTA audiences watch more local news, sports, and daytime television, all while increasing the amount of time they are spending with streaming. Which bring us back to the answer for “Which is better, broadcast or streaming?” being – BOTH! A healthy mix of broadcast and streaming video in a marketing plan allows advertisers to reach that traditional TV viewer as well as the more modern streaming user. We utilize this strategy for our clients, and we recommend you test the same!